New trial set for man accused in fatal 1995 Naperville fire

  • William Amor, center, is free on $100,000 bail as he awaits a new trial on Jan. 23, 2018.

    William Amor, center, is free on $100,000 bail as he awaits a new trial on Jan. 23, 2018. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

Updated 9/28/2017 1:30 PM

William Amor will go to trial in early 2018 on charges of first-degree murder and arson in the 1995 death of his mother-in-law in Naperville.

DuPage County Judge Liam Brennan set the Jan. 23 trial date this week after ruling that Amor can be subject to consecutive sentencing on the original murder and arson charges.


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.

The conviction was vacated after Brennan ruled that advances in fire science have proved the description Amor gave in his original confession to police was impossible.

Amor is now free on $100,000 bail.

Amor confessed in 1995 that he started the fire by leaving a smoldering cigarette on a newspaper that had been soaked in vodka. His attorneys have maintained the confession was coerced.

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

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Within 20 minutes of Amor and his wife leaving the apartment, the napping Miceli woke 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's original prison sentence was scheduled to end next March.

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