Bail set for Naperville man whose murder conviction was overturned

  • William Amor

    William Amor

 
 
Updated 4/13/2017 1:47 PM

After serving nearly 22 years behind bars for a murder he insists he didn't commit, William Amor has a chance to be a relatively free man.

But it's going to cost him.

 

DuPage County Judge Liam Brennan on Thursday set bail at $100,000 for the 60-year-old Naperville man and ordered him held in DuPage jail until he either posts 10 percent or his next trial begins.

Brennan, who last week vacated Amor's 1997 first-degree murder and aggravated arson convictions by citing advances in fire science, said he doesn't believe Amor should be released on his own recognizance but also doesn't think holding him without bail is appropriate.

Amor's attorneys, from the Illinois Innocence Project, said they would be reaching out to friends and family to come up with his bail as they prepare for a "completely different trial."

"I think (the $100,000 bail) is reflective of this judge's ruling last week that this trial is going to be a completely different ballgame," attorney Erica Nichols Cook said. "It's going to look very different from the trial in 1997."

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In 1995, Amor, then 40, lived at the apartment with his 18-year-old wife, Tina Miceli, and her mother, Marianne Miceli. He confessed that he started the fire by leaving a smoldering cigarette on a newspaper that had been soaked in vodka.

Three fire science experts testified during Amor's December hearing that not only would a cigarette not ignite a newspaper and vodka, but that lab-tested samples found no ignitable liquids present at the scene.

Within 20 minutes of Amor and his wife leaving the apartment, the napping Miceli awoke and called 911, saying she could not get out of the burning apartment and was being overcome by smoke.

A dispatcher told her to get low to the floor, but she started coughing and died in her bedroom from smoke inhalation with the phone cord wrapped around her.

Amor is next due in court on May 10 to discuss any pretrial motions and to set an "expeditious" trial date.

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