Peter Hommerson, serving a life sentence for killing a Barrington Hills couple in 1996, can move forward in his bid for a new trial, according to an Illinois Supreme Court ruling Friday.
Hommerson, convicted in 2008 of killing millionaires Marvin and Kay Lichtman and setting fire to their home, is seeking a new trial, claiming that his lawyer had not been effective during his first one. His request was denied by lower courts because he failed to file an affidavit stating his story about his lawyer was true.
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The state Supreme Court, though, disagreed unanimously with the lower court, allowing Hommerson's bid for a new trial to continue.
"He's right at the beginning of trying to get a new trial," said Kathleen Hamill, assistant appellate defender.
She said now Hommerson should be getting new representation, which would help clean up his petition. However, he still needs to prove that a large enough error occurred at the first trial to warrant a new one.
Hommerson, a glass worker hired by the Lichtmans, shot the couple to death on Jan. 23, 1996. Following the killings, Hommerson -- once on the America's Most Wanted list -- fled to Mexico where he hid until his arrest in 2005.