Heidelberg Conviction Tossed | WGLT

Heidelberg Conviction Tossed

Apr 21, 2017

The Peoria County Courthouse is where a judge vacated Cleve Heidelberg's decades old murder conviction.
Credit Roger W. / Flickr

Family and attorneys representing Cleve Heidelberg call yesterday’s court ruling “historic,” for a man who’s spent the last 47 years in prison.

A Peoria County Judge granted Heidelberg a new trial in the 1970 murder of Peoria County Sheriff’s Sergeant Raymond Espinoza.

Attorney Andy Hale stood alongside Heidelberg’s sister, niece and friends after the court ruling, outside the county courthouse.
“I just want though, the final piece of the puzzle, i want cleve heidelberg to walk out those doors a free man. That day’s comin’ because the hard part happened today. The conviction got vacated.”

Judge Al Purham said credible testimony from someone who plead the fifth during the original trial should be considered.

The State is appealing Purham’s ruling. A bond hearing is set for next week.