New trial date stands for man accused in 1995 Naperville fatal fire

  • William Amor walks with attorney Lauren Kaeseberg, left and school friend from Indiana, Randy Anderson, right, after he was released from DuPage County jail on Tuesday. He has been in prison since 1995 convicted of arson and murder. His verdict was recently overturned.

    William Amor walks with attorney Lauren Kaeseberg, left and school friend from Indiana, Randy Anderson, right, after he was released from DuPage County jail on Tuesday. He has been in prison since 1995 convicted of arson and murder. His verdict was recently overturned. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • William Amor

    William Amor

 
 
Updated 6/9/2017 2:47 PM

William Amor is easing into life as a free man in Calumet City after recently posting bond and being released from jail for the first time in 22 years.

But Amor still faces a September trial date after a DuPage County judge on Friday refused to dismiss the original indictment that charged Amor with arson and the first-degree murder in the 1995 death of his mother-in-law.

 

Erica Nichols Cook, one of Amor's attorneys, argued Friday that the original indictment should be thrown out and that the court should either dismiss the charges or require prosecutors to indict Amor a second time.

Cook said the original indictment is invalid because testimony given to a 1995 grand jury from a detective investigating the case was based on Amor's false confession that he started the fire to collect insurance money when he spilled vodka onto a Sunday newspaper, then dropped a cigarette to light it, and left with his wife.

Since Amor's conviction, fire science experts, including one at a December 2016 hearing, have concluded that vodka is not an "accelerant" and the fire could not have started the way Amor confessed to lighting it.

Prosecutors argued the information and testimony given at the time of the indictment was accurate and valid.

Judge Liam Brennan agreed.

"Ultimately, (Amor) admitted setting a fire, there was a fire, and someone died in that fire," Brennan said Friday.

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In April, Brennan vacated Amor's 1997 conviction on charges he intentionally ignited the September 1995 fire at the condo that he shared with his then-18-year-old wife, Tina Miceli, and her mother, Marianne Miceli. Marianne Miceli was killed in the blaze after becoming trapped in a bedroom.

Amor's original prison sentence was scheduled to end next March.

Prosecutors said they intend to retry Amor and a Sept. 12 trial date has been set.

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