Prosecutors challenging certificate of innocence for man cleared in 1995 arson, murder

  • William Amor is all smiles as he walks out of the DuPage County courthouse with attorney Lauren Kaeseberg, left and his sister Shelley Williams, right, in Wheaton on Feb. 22.

    William Amor is all smiles as he walks out of the DuPage County courthouse with attorney Lauren Kaeseberg, left and his sister Shelley Williams, right, in Wheaton on Feb. 22. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 8/9/2018 8:18 AM

William Amor has long claimed his confession to setting a 1995 fire that killed his mother-in-law was coerced by a Naperville police officer.

Despite being cleared of the arson and murder in his March retrial, after serving 22 years in prison, prosecutors say that confession should prevent him from being able to have his record expunged and block him from receiving a certificate of innocence from the state that could be redeemed under the state's wrongfully convicted compensation statute.

 

"The petitioner cannot prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that he is innocent of the offenses charged in the indictment and that he did not through

his own conduct voluntarily cause or bring about his conviction," prosecutors wrote in the motion to dismiss Amor's petition that they filed Wednesday morning.

Prosecutors also allege Amor failed to attach supporting documentation to his petition as required by statute.

According to the formula in the statute, Amor, 63, could qualify to receive the maximum compensation of roughly $220,000.

Amor's next court date regarding the petition has been set for Sept. 10.

In February 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.

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The 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.

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.

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