ZANESVILLE, Ohio — Authorities in eastern Ohio say a man representing himself in his aggravated murder trial didn’t get the testimony he wanted from two former girlfriends.
The Zanesville Times Recorder reports that Timothy Daniel had hoped for support for a story claiming self-defense. But after his jury conviction Friday, he faces a potential sentence of life in prison for the slaying last Oct. 31 of Charles Hooper in a South Zanesville Burger King restaurant.
Witnesses testified that Hooper had tried to intervene when Daniel angrily confronted his girlfriend of the time.
The newspaper reports that Daniel, 34, had hoped to present a tale of Hooper, 61, as the woman’s “sugar daddy” and claim he was acting in self-defense. But the woman said she had never seen Hooper before Daniel hit him with a pistol and then fired into his forehead.
Then another former girlfriend surprised him when she took the stand.
“I’m not going to sit up here and lie for you, Tim. I won’t,” witness Heidi McGilton said.
“That kind of really changed my whole game plan,” Daniel said in court later, according to the newspaper.
Muskingum County Prosecutor Mike Haddox said she had made a deal after her arrest the night before on a drug-related charge. She said Daniel had been calling her from jail and had written to her about his plan to change the perception of Hooper from an innocent victim into a vindictive “sugar daddy.” Haddox said he agreed to drop the drug case after she offered to expose Daniel’s plan.
“You think you’ve seen it all. But this could be a daggone movie,” said Haddox, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
Hooper was a third-shift security guard for a state agency who usually stopped at the Burger King on his way home from work. Six eyewitnesses testified against Daniel.