A Ohio man was convicted Friday afternoon of fatally shooting a man inside of a South Zanesville Burger King. Timothy Daniel, 34, was found guilty of aggravated murder Friday after acting as his own attorney throughout his trial.
Daniel’s conviction comes with the potential for a sentencing of life in prison for the murder of Charles Hooper in a South Zanesville Burger King restaurant on October 31, 2013. The Ohio man had hoped that he’d get help from former girlfriends to support his story claiming self-defense.
According to the Zanesville Times Recorder, Daniel had attempted to fabricate witnesses in an attempt to give Cooper the image of a “combative sugar daddy.” According to this report, Daniel had spoken to ex-girlfriend, Heidi McGilton, over the phone from jail on multiple occasions. He even mailed McGilton a story and map of the Burger King to help prospective witnesses.
“Three new witnesses will change the whole scenario to self-defense, involuntary manslaughter at most,” Daniel wrote from the Muskingum County Jail. “Being able to change victim Charles Hooper into ‘Sugar Daddy Charley’ will change the jury’s whole perspective of what happened.”
According to News Net 5, McGilton surprised Daniel when she took the stand against him. “I’m not going to sit up here and lie for you, Tim. I won’t,” McGilton said. Muskingum County Prosecutor Mike Haddox said she had made a deal after her arrest the night before on a drug-related charge.
Six eyewitnesses testified against Daniel, all telling similar stories: “Daniel walked into the Burger King and slammed his hands on the table in front of Darlene Bender, his girlfriend at the time of the murder. Hooper attempted to quell the situation, and Daniel hit him with a pistol and then fired the fatal shot into Hooper’s forehead.” After the shooting took place, Daniel left the Burger King with Jamie Jarrett, who had driven him to the restaurant the morning of the shooting. Jarrett testifed Thursday according to news reports, stating that Daniel walked out of the Burger King with the 9 mm pistol still in his hand.
Friday, after McGilton’s testimony, Daniel took the stand stating: “That kind of really changed my whole game plan.” Afterwards, Daniel changed his story according to the Zanesville Times Recorder. “It wasn’t really self-defense,” Daniel said, looking directly at the jurors. “I overreacted.”
Haddox came back at Daniels, stating: “You’re sick, Mr. Daniels. If all this is true, why do you have to pay witnesses and write letters?” Later, Haddox told news reporters “You think you’ve seen it all. But this could be a daggone movie.”