Man cleared in 1995 Naperville murder seeks compensation from state

  • William Amor was all smiles as he walked out of the DuPage County courthouse with attorney Lauren Kaeseberg after his Feb. 22 acquittal.

    William Amor was all smiles as he walked out of the DuPage County courthouse with attorney Lauren Kaeseberg after his Feb. 22 acquittal. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 5/19/2018 12:09 AM

William Amor spent 22 years in an Illinois prison for an arson and murder a judge later acquitted him of.

After his February retrial and subsequent acquittal in DuPage County, the former Naperville man now wants his record expunged and a certificate of innocence from the state that could be redeemed under the state's wrongfully convicted compensation statute.

 

According to the formula in the statute, Amor, who turns 62 on Sunday, could qualify to receive the maximum compensation of roughly $220,000.

Amor's new attorney, Kathleen Zellner, filed the petition in DuPage. A representative for Zellner, however, said she will not discuss the case until May 25.

Paul Darrah, spokesman for DuPage State's Attorney Robert Berlin, said Friday prosecutors are "strenuously opposing (Amor's) petition for his certificate of innocence."

A June 18 court date has been set for prosecutors to officially file their objection.

Judge Liam Brennan found Amor not guilty of all arson and murder charges in the 1995 death of Amor's mother-in-law, Marianne Miceli, in a fire at a condo on the 1800 block of Bailey Road in Naperville.

The Feb. 22 ruling came nearly three weeks after Amor's bench trial concluded and roughly 10 months after Brennan vacated Amor's 1997 arson and murder convictions related to the case.

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Prosecutors maintained throughout the trial that Amor ignited the fatal fire to collect insurance money so he and his bride, Tina Micelli, could start a new life together.

In vacating the convictions, Brennan ruled that advances in fire science proved the description of the crime Amor gave in his confession to police -- that he started the fire with a cigarette and a vodka-soaked newspaper -- was impossible.

Throughout his trial and pretrial hearings, Amor was represented by attorneys from the University of Illinois at Springfield's Illinois Innocence Project.

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