Tim’s Narrative of Pre-Accusation Interactions with Astles

Tim’s Narrative of Pre-Accusation Interactions with the Astles

What follows here is my brother Tim’s first-hand account of the period prior to the allegations when he became acquainted, then friends, then business partners with Jennifer Astle, spanning approximately from Summer 2005 to March 18, 2009 (Date allegations made).  If he would have gone against his attorney’s advice and testified at trial, this would have been the bulk of his testimony.

I basically asked Tim to answer these questions: How did you, a single businessman from St. Louis, get into a business relationship with a recovering drug addict in Tennessee with a negative financial history?  You’re smart, how did this happen?  Can you illustrate the points where you ceded your control of your safety and why that happened?  For someone who doesn’t know you or our current supporters, how do you respond to the prosecution’s assertion that you, a stranger, bought this family a house to get access to the children?

You’ll notice there are a few references stuck into this narrative–those are mine.  It may read better the first time if you ignore those and come back to them on the second time, or maybe not–all I’m doing in those is citing later trial testimony to illustrate the whole story and the inconsistencies of Jennifer Astle and the State in prosecuting Tim.   I am not attempting to refute all allegations in this however–the point of this piece is to show Tim’s thoughts as the relationship between him and Jennifer Astle moved into a business nature and then failed. We’re not asking you to blindly believe Tim, and these citations show where Jennifer has challenges with her versions of events.  Yet, although we’re citing Jennifer’s inconsistencies, the majority of these citations still go to prove Tim’s version of events..

You’ll also notice there’s not a lot of talk about the children, and that’s on purpose for one reason–and please stay with me for a moment:  The children, and their allegations of abuse, are a red herring.  Now I am NOT saying that children who allege abuse are lying, AT ALL, but in THIS case, the children were not harmed by Tim, and the allegation that they were incites all sorts of outrage that blinds the audience to the REAL story.  Everyone is absolutely right to be defensive of children who report, and I don’t encourage any alternative action other than complete validation and care when they do.  But in this case of the Astles reporting abuse by Tim Guilfoy, it is to throw the authorities off of the con job Jennifer Astle performed on Tim.  

The actual allegations from the kids’ mouths that Tim touched their private with his hand lacked any sexual knowledge, detail, or consistency.  And even at trial, the girls testified they still liked Tim.  At the first trial it was clear Jennifer the mother had motive to fabricate.  Thus, we had jurors from the first trial willing to vote Tim “not guilty,” citing the problems with the mother.  So the State set out in the second trial to erase any motive Jennifer might have had to fabricate these allegations, and that is where they spent their time creating circumstantial innuendo that Tim had bought this family a house with the sole intent of preying upon this poor family.  The State (Prosecutors Sharon Reddick and Roger Moore) knew that the heart of this case was the bad business deal Tim made and Jen “fixed,” and they threw out truth to get the conviction.  This narrative of Tim’s details that bad business deal that started it all.

There are many other resources on this site that refute the children’s allegations as well as the problems with the investigation and prosecution, please visit and read those to get those questions answered, and as always, if they don’t answer your questions, contact me directly at [email protected] and I will answer you personally.

Dictated by Tim, April 2016 (4 years and 6 months incarcerated):

I have always loved hard work and the rewards that have come with it. Since I was twelve, I have usually held at least two jobs on top of school and friends. No job has ever been too menial or complicated. I have been a cashier, furniture mover, salesman, delivery driver, marketing manager, and food server just to name a few. One summer during college I even worked inside a landfill separating metals for recycling. I loved the skills I acquired just as much as the money I made.

No matter how busy I was, I always made time for friends. Throughout middle school, high school, and college, I amassed a group of friends that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Rich or poor, young or old, the ability for good conversation was the only prerequisite to be my friend. I was lucky that most of the people in my life were extremely honest and trustworthy. Whether it was a girlfriend, relative, or my best buddy that grew up across the street from me, no one in my life ever greatly deceived me or tried to take advantage of me. I wouldn’t say that I lived a sheltered life, but I can definitely say now that I went out into the world a little too wide-eyed, naïve, and trusting.

I don’t want to pretend I was a perfect young man. I had my share of fun but never messed with any drugs harder than marijuana or criminal acts above the occasional prank involving a few rolls of toilet paper. Most of the time though, I would take any opportunity to help somebody, friend or stranger, either through church or on my own. I won’t claim to be extremely religious, but I do believe that if God gives you means and abilities, then you have a responsibility to help those that do not.

Even with work and friends, I still succeeded in school. I graduated from a college prep high school with a B+ average. I went on to make the Dean’s List in college and even graduated a semester early. I would like to take full credit for this, but it was mostly because I had so many supportive people around me that I wasn’t going to disappoint by doing anything less than my best.

In 2005, I was finishing up my last semester of classes at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. For the previous 3 years, I was studying Music and Business while working two jobs to save as much as I could to move to Nashville for an internship at Sony/Columbia Records. It was an unpaid internship so I had to survive off my savings for 6 months. I felt extremely lucky to find out that an old high school friend of mine was also moving down to Nashville to build guitars for Gibson. He had already found a cheap apartment and needed a roommate. We quickly made friends with many of our neighbors.

On an almost daily basis, the adults would hang out in the courtyard barbecueing while many of the children played and ran around until the early evening. There was usually a few beers and more often than not, marijuana would make an appearance once the kids went inside. If there were any harder drugs around, I did not personally see them, but one of my neighbors (Jennifer Astle) soon told me that she had a meth problem in the past. She told me about her troubled history with her abusive ex-husband and how she had to flee with her children from Florida to Chattanooga, TN. She said that she moved in with another addict and soon had to flee again, this time in the middle of the night, moving to Nashville to live with her mother’s ex-boyfriend who rented the apartment next to me. She showed up to his door with her three girls and only a couple of dollars in her pocket.

I felt sympathy for her. This single mother of a five, six, and eight year old girls, who went through a such undeserved struggle was something I had no exposure to or experience with. Even though I felt bad for her, it wasn’t like I could help her. I was still a poor college student that could barely pay my bills with the savings I had while I was interning. My internship concluded in December of 2005 and soon after I moved back to St. Louis. After six months in the apartment complex, I considered Jennifer, as well as many of the other tenants, good friends that I had made many memories with. (Side note: People often ask me if Jen and I ever had a physical relationship. We did not. Ever.) Now in St. Louis, freshly graduated, I spent the next year in a few menial jobs, living paycheck to paycheck. Jennifer kept in contact with me. We were both on MySpace (remember that?), and Jen seemed tenacious at calling and keeping in contact. I was happy to hear that the man she lived with had moved into a one-bedroom house not far away from the apartments and let her and her kids stay with him. It was still in a low-income neighborhood, but at least it was better than the tiny apartment.

During the summer of 2006, my older brother Tony was in Nashville for business on three occasions. On two of these occasions, I traveled with him and we stayed in a hotel. On one occasion, we stopped by the house where Jen and her girls stayed (with her mom’s ex-boyfriend) for about 45 minutes and hung out with her and the girls. On another trip, Tony and I invited Jen to lunch (without her kids).

In November of 2006, my good friend Nick asked me to fly down to Orlando with him to pick up a car he purchased online and help him drive it back to St. Louis. We stopped for the night in Nashville at the house of another friend I met when I lived there, Adam. While in Nashville, Nick and I hung out with Jennifer and her girls for a couple of hours. We were all very happy to see each other again.

In early 2007, I got a job with a mobile marketing company. I was very excited and ready to start a real career. I would travel around the country going to a different city every week. I would set up displays at sporting events, fairs, car shows, etc. My job had many facets. One day I would be driving a tractor trailer, the next day I would be managing workers, the next day I would be doing interviews on the local news for whatever company I was representing at the time. This job fit me perfectly because I have always enjoyed the road. Even as a poor college student, I never missed an opportunity to jump in my car and spend the weekends in Kansas City or Chicago with my friends. For my marketing job, I would spend as much as 11 months of the year on the road. I would receive about $100 a day for food and hotel. If I didn’t spend all of it, I would get to keep the rest. As you can imagine, I would usually stay at a pretty cheap hotel to keep as much as possible. If I was in a city where a friend or relative lived, I would stay with them and pocket all of it. This worked out well because I have family and friends in about 15 major cities. I was able to travel, see my friends, and make money. There was no downside, or at least that is what I thought.

On a few occasions that brought me through Nashville, I stayed at the house where Jennifer lived with her mom’s ex-boyfriend Brian, her girls, and as many as two more adults (Jennifer’s mom or boyfriend). As I did with a couple of my other friends that didn’t have much money, I would give her about $20 a night since I didn’t have to spend any money on a hotel. [Side note: whenever I stayed at Brian’s house in Nashville where Jennifer stayed, I NEVER went to sleep in a bed with a child in it.  In the interest of not hiding anything, there were a few times where one or the other of the girls crawled into the bed AFTER I was asleep. I told Jen many times (and she admitted to this)1 the following morning that I didn’t want them to do that, and she should tell them to stop.]

By May of 2008, I was on a marketing tour that paid enough that I was finally preparing to purchase an investment property. Since high school, I had always planned on investing in real estate. On top of that, the market had bottomed out from the mortgage bubble, and it was a buyers’ market in virtually every city. I was basically living out of hotels so I could buy a starter rental house (in which I personally would not reside) and build equity to buy a second one, and so on. I was looking at properties in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Nashville2. I was also looking at small towns near military bases because these markets tended to be less volatile.

It was about this time that Jennifer asked me if I wanted to go on a camping trip with her, her boyfriend, her mom, and her girls. I have been going on float trips with my dad and brother since I could walk. It is by far my favorite hobby. I told her that I had a weekend off and was going to be in the area on the second weekend in May. A few days later, I let her know I was wrong about my schedule and could not go. It was the following weekend that I actually had off. Surprisingly, she said she would make new reservations at the camping ground and everyone shifted their plans for me. I figured she was just being a good friend.

The camping trip was fun. We hiked, fished, biked, and spent a good amount of time talking around the fire. At one point, Jennifer asked me if I was considering buying a rental house in Clarksville, TN, a town 45 minutes north of Nashville, which is right next to Ft. Campbell, home of the 101st Airborne. I told her that I was, in fact, considering it among many other locations. After the camping trip, we returned to Brian’s house in Nashville where Jennifer lived with her children. Before I left to return to work, Jennifer asked to talk to me about something serious.

Jennifer told me she wanted to straighten her life out. She wanted to quit drugs and alcohol and go back to school so she could get a decent job. Above everything else, she wanted to get her kids out of their bad neighborhood and school3. She told me “I want to show my girls what a real woman is.” I couldn’t have been more proud of her. “But,” she said “I need your help.” She wanted to enroll at Draughn’s Junior College to train to get a certificate for medical billing4. This college had a location in Clarksville and one near the house she was staying at in Nashville. She was thinking about getting enrolled in summer classes at the Nashville location for the summer semester but then moving to Clarksville and transferring for the fall semester. She had friends in Clarksville and knew of many part-time jobs up in Clarksville.

The problem, she told me, was that she had no credit or rental history.  She had always lived with someone else who was on the lease. She also couldn’t afford a deposit or last month’s rent up front. She also had dogs and cats that the kids loved and most apartments wouldn’t allow them or required a larger deposit. There was simply too many barriers for her to get out of the situation she and her children were in.

Jennifer showed me her child support payment that proved she received $900 a month5. The court automatically garnished her ex-husbands check so there was no question that she could cover rent even if she didn’t get a part-time job, which she promised she already had lined up. She also received $350 a month in food stamps, and the kid’s healthcare was covered by the state. Jennifer lobbied me hard to buy a house in Clarksville to rent to her. She insisted it was the ONLY way to get her kids out of what she called “the ghetto.” In testimony, Jennifer begrudgingly admitted it was HER who suggested to ME, not the other way around6.

I was conflicted. The first rule in business is to not involve friends or family. I was buying a house to make money first and foremost. But, I could do that and help a friend out of a bad situation. I cared about Jennifer and her girls, and I was going to rent the house to someone anyway. After thinking hard about it, I agreed, but with some conditions. She had to quit drugs and alcohol immediately, and work somewhere at least part-time once they moved to Clarksville. She had to enroll in school in Clarksville rather than in Nashville for the summer semester. I wanted her to commute daily to classes and pass all her summer courses. I wanted her to meet these requirements not only to prove to me she was committed and serious about changing her life, but also to make sure this is what SHE wanted to do before we got involved with the house. At the first trial, Jennifer agreed that this was our plan but at the second trial, her testimony changed to make it seem like she was going to move to Clarksville no matter what, but that I pushed the idea of the house on her7. Without any money, savings, rental or credit history, how would she move up to Clarksville and find adequate housing if not for our agreed upon plan?

Jennifer did what I asked. She showed me an online “yearbook” from Draughn’s College to show she passed all her classes and it was obvious from her appearance that she was clean. She told me of multiple opportunities for part-time work available immediately that she’d have no problem getting.  In the meantime, I found a good fixer-up property, signed on the dotted line, and became a homeowner. I was very happy for her and proud to be able to help a friend while at the same time achieving my first goal in real estate.

We both signed a five page lease that was very detailed. It covered pets, inhabitants, and even the waiver of a deposit and last month’s rent up front. Also, despite what Jennifer claimed at trial, the lease clearly stated that she MUST pay rent or she would be evicted. I was even able to secure a free moving truck from my realtor for her. It literally cost Jennifer zero dollars to move in. She moved in September 2008. Immediately after she unpacked, she informed me that she didn’t have any money to pay for September’s partial rent. My heart sank. Within two weeks, she dropped out of school8 and clearly started using drugs again (at least marijuana). My heart broke. Jennifer did not get any of the jobs she promised me were waiting for her9. She did not pay October’s rent. She did not pay November’s rent10.

It was during this period around the end of October 2008 that I was working 80 hours a week all around the country to finish up my contract for BP. I was lucky that I was working and able to pay the mortgage, but I knew that this was money for my savings that I was going to be relying on to live off of until I could get another contract five or six months later. Jen promised she would look for a job and pay me back, and agreed to a specific plan to pay off her debt. I was worried her drug use would spiral out of control again. But, I still wanted to believe in my friend and gave her the benefit of the doubt.

By December 2008, I was facing a horrible situation. I didn’t want to evict three little girls who had been through so much, and right before Christmas no less. I also couldn’t afford to pay for a house I didn’t live in. My work contract ended in November and I spent most of my savings on the down payment for the house. I worked too hard to see my first investment go into foreclosure because Jen couldn’t find a part time job, and I didn’t know where the child support was going, but it wasn’t to rent.

In the middle of December, I used my job with BP Gasoline to get Jennifer a job at the gas station down the street. I drove a F-450 with BP branding all over it that looked really cool. BP gave me t-shirts, mugs, and gift cards to give to the store owners whenever we would stop at a station. This was usually a big deal with the employees and owners. I did this one last time before I had to turn the truck in, and used the opportunity to encourage the store owner to hire a good friend of mine who coincidentally lived down the street. Jen was hired a couple of days later.

She was able to pay rent December (partial), January, and February. The day after she paid February’s rent she was fired because she was caught on camera playing scratch off lottery tickets11. By March 11th she was not looking for a job, she had lied to me about depositing the first half of March’s rent, and still owed me for September, October, and November12.  I cannot claim to know where her child support money went, but even I wasn’t so naïve at that point that I couldn’t take a pretty good guess. It was clear from her appearance–she was getting pale again, losing weight rapidly, and always seemed fatigued and under the influence of something. I told her she had to pay rent or move out so I could get a tenant that would pay. This devastated me and put me in a deep depression. I had no choice though. I hadn’t worked in months, and any extra money I would have had was spent on covering the mortgage for the months Jen didn’t pay. She had two weeks to comply. She didn’t appear to like that ultimatum.

Exactly one week later, she called the police and told them I had molested her children as far back as Nashville years ago but as recently as two days prior. She told the detective she was moving out immediately. However, she and her children stayed until June 2009. By the time I evicted her she had lived in my house for 10 months and only paid for 3 months. She owed more than $5,000.00 in back rent and damages to the house.

Hindsight makes it easy for you to call me naïve/idiotic/blind/stupid/gullible/etc., and I wouldn’t blame you for such judgement. But, to this day, I still believe Jennifer sincerely wanted to change her life when she asked me to rent her the house. One thing I am certain about is that her own choices put her in a corner. I tried to help her the best I could, and in return she flushed my life away with one phone call to 911.

No one at the police department or prosecutors’ office questioned me at all about this. They simply arrested me and charged me without even doing physical exams on the children until a month later (which revealed no evidence of abuse, much less anything that connected ME to any abuse). At trial, Jennifer testified that I told her she could stay at the house even if she didn’t pay rent13. When confronted with the lease, Jennifer could not explain why she thought she didn’t have to pay rent14. We provided a recording from December 2008 that contained a conversation between her and I about her delinquency in rent. You can hear her promising to do her taxes and giving me her refund to help pay for back rent. She admitted in testimony that video existed, the conversation took place, but that she never followed up on her promise to give me the owed money15. She denied I ever told her she had to move out, but we produced three witnesses that testified I told them about the pending eviction days before she called the police16.

I didn’t buy Jennifer a house to get close to her children like she claimed. Even if I wanted to, I didn’t have the money. According to Jennifer’s allegations, I already had full access to her children at her Nashville house. Why would I spend my life savings on a free house for her if I didn’t need to? What was I going to do when I eventually ran out of money to pay the mortgage? Within a span of two weeks, Jennifer lost her job and lied about paying rent. She claimed it was a coincidence that her children “just so happened” to wait years after I abused them until this exact point in time to tell her. Then, Jennifer didn’t take her children to the hospital or move them out of the one place in the universe that I still had access to them.

I am not a child molester. I am also not financially irresponsible.  All people who know me can attest to these two things. Most people who know Jennifer can attest to her drug use and her manipulative nature. All the information relied on by the State to convict me was provided through Jennifer–she called the police initially. Jen took no other protective measures for her children’s safety or well-being. Jen was also the only beneficiary from this situation, receiving thousands of dollars in free rent and victim’s services. This was All. About. Jen. People who don’t know either of us can look at the lease, bank account records, and the words out of Jennifer’s own mouth and use logic and reason to understand what did, and more importantly, what did not happen.

So, you may be asking, why did the second jury convict me with so much proof to back up my story and so much contradiction and holes in Jennifer’s story? Two reasons. First, most of the facts supporting my side of the story were not provided to the jury in my second trial because the prosecution suborned their witnesses’ perjuries and hid Brian Schiff in order to shore up their false narrative and my attorney let them. Second, most of my side of the situation was not explained to the jury because my attorney didn’t bother to, and I did not testify.  (THIRD REASON: The jury saw videos in private deliberations that the State invited them to see without having been played in open court.  The videos contained edited prejudicial statements by the accusers and a verbal checklist of charges against Tim that match the verdict sheet but not the courtroom testimony. Tim to this date has never seen the videos that the jury used to convict him. More info here.  -KB 3.22.17 edit)

Why did I not testify? My attorney told me and my family, in no uncertain terms, that if I testified, I would lose. The State brought in a special prosecutor for the specific purpose of cross-examining me. My attorney said the cross-examination would have lasted days. He said the seasoned prosecutor would have tired me out, put words in my mouth, and would twist the smallest inconsistency simply to be able to tell the jury I was a liar. Anyway, he said, the State didn’t even come close to proving anything, and we could get many of the supporting facts into evidence through other witnesses, as we did in the first trial.

Our attorney was our only resource to know what to do. Neither I nor my family have ever been in any legal trouble whatsoever, much less a trial for multiple Class A felonies. We had to trust him. We had no other perspective, and we had no instinct to question the one person who was supposed to be on my side. Being told by the only professional we could trust that we would definitely lose if I testified made the decision for us. We were too scared to go against his advice (and he knew it).

Many people, including myself before the trial, don’t know that a defendant has to decide if they will testify before any defense witnesses are called. I told the judge that I was not going to testify because my attorney promised me he was going to present my side of the story just as he did in my first trial. He did not keep that promise. The bank account records were not entered, or even mentioned. The two alibi witnesses were not even called. A witness that I told about the pending eviction (prior to Jen calling the police) was not asked about it at all. As far as the jury knew, I bought Jen a house, told her she didn’t have to pay rent, and only came up with the “eviction story” after she called the police17. I had already told the court I would not testify. It wasn’t even a “he said/she said,” it was just a “she said.”

Of course I should have testified. Of course the knowledge that my lawyer and the prosecutor were back-scratching friends would have been helpful to know before I hired him. Hindsight is cruel. But, my bad decisions shouldn’t result in the facts being disregarded. I am not innocent just because I say I am, I’m innocent because the facts show Jennifer Astle is lying and that I am telling the truth.

How you can help Tim