The former 'Family Feud' contestant convicted of his then-estranged wife's murder defended making a joke about marriage while appearing on the show.
Timothy Bliefnick, 40, addressed the now infamous clip of himself answering "saying 'I do,'" when asked by host Steve Harvey "what's the biggest mistake you made on your wedding day?" during an interview with Erin Moriarty for an upcoming episode of '48 Hours' set to air on Saturday (September 30).
“It wasn’t said with any malice or bad intentions. It was supposed to be funny,” Bliefnick said.
“Steve Harvey looked at me, like: ‘Oh, you’re gonna be in trouble,’ and I even said that,” Bliefnick added. “And I said: ‘Hey, it’s not me, I love my wife.’ And I mean, I looked right at the camera and said, ‘I love my wife,’ and looked at the camera and said, ‘Honey, I love you.'”
“It was supposed to be humorous. It wasn’t supposed to be anything other than that,” he added.
Bliefnick was convicted of first-degree murder and home invasion in relation to the February death of his then-estranged wife, Rebecca Bliefnick, 41, in March before being sentenced by Illinois Judge Robert Adrian to natural life in prison, the state's harshest punishment, in August.
“Mr. Bliefnick, you researched this murder, you planned this murder, you practiced this murder," Judge Adrian said via NBC News. "You broke into her house and you shot her one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 times."
Illinois abolished the death penalty in 2011 and a natural life sentence is equivalent to what is described as life without the possibility of parole in other states. Prosecutors said Bliefnick purchased a bicycle and rode to his estranged wife's home, broke through a window and shot her multiple times while she was in a bathroom.
"Some of those shots were fired while she was laying on the ground," Judge Adrian said via NBC News.
The 'Family Feud' incident took place during a taping in the fall of 2019 for an episode that aired in the spring of 2020, according to ABC via the New York Post.
“Not my mistake! Not my mistake! I love my wife,” Bliefnick said at the time. “I’m going to get in trouble for that aren’t I?”
“Yes, it’s going to be a lot of hell to pay at your house,” Harvey responded.
The comment seemed harmless at the time, but was extremely grim in hindsight. Rebecca Bliefnick was found dead in February after she was absent from picking her three children up from school.
Timothy and Rebecca were married in 2009, but had separated for several years and were reported to be in the process of divorce at the time of the victim's death. Rebecca had reportedly filed a restraining order against her husband and his father, according to the New York Post.