Florida Man Who Raised Thousands on GoFundMe Over Husband's Death, Charged with His Murder

Timothy Smith and Herbert Swilley
Timothy Smith (left) and Herbert Swilley. Twitter

A Florida man who raised thousands of dollars on GoFundMe after his husband was found slain in their home in March has now been charged with first-degree murder in connection with his death, according to police statements and court documents.

Herbert Swilley, 55, was arrested by the Marion County Sheriff's Office on Friday, months after his husband Timothy Smith was found dead by authorities in Ocala, Fla., after he did not show up to work, according to an arrest affidavit.

Swilley Drugged Smith, Staged a Fake Crime Scene

Swilley requested a welfare check when he found Smith's Jeep outside one of their two homes on March 24, a day after he said he'd last seen his husband, the affidavit says. Police were eventually able to go inside the residence the next day and found Smith, 59, on a bed "naked from the waist down," having suffered "blunt trauma injuries to the face and possibly to the genitals."

He also had ligature marks on his neck, the affidavit said. An autopsy determined Smith died from asphyxia and a fracture on his cervical spine, according to the affidavit.

Timothy Smith and Herbert Swilley
Timothy Smith and Herbert Swilley Facebook

Detectives learned on the night of March 23 or in the early hours of March 24 Smith was dosed with a large amount of diphenhydramine, an ingredient found in Benadryl and Unisom, that was 30 times higher than the normal therapeutic dose. Following the dosing, Swilley choked Smith to death with an unknown ligature and fractured his cervical spine, deputies say.

Investigators believe Swilley then staged a fake crime scene by taking Smith's body from their home to an apartment the couple also shared and then tried to destroy the evidence with household cleaners.

A few hours later Swilley drove to a landfill where he dropped off what appeared to be two carpets from their residence before going on about his day.

Swilley Stood to Gain $333K in Life Insurance Money After Smith's Death

Herbert Swilley
Herbert Swilley Marion County Sheriff's Office

Deputies also said that Smith had been previously abused by Swilley and that Smith was trying to leave the relationship just before his murder. Investigators believe Swilley's allegedly killed his husband because he stood to gain $333,000 from Smith's insurance policies.

An officer wrote in the affidavit that a mutual friend who was interviewed during the investigation alleged Swilley had a history of violent outbursts, a bad temper and had made "homicidal threats." Deputies also found Smith had secured a new job in another country and was planning to relocate without Swilley

Swilley is facing one charge of first degree premeditated murder and one charge of tampering with evidence, according to jail records.