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Illinois Attorney General's Office Requests to Drop Review of Heidelberg Case

Fred Zwicky
Peoria Journal Star

Attorneys representing Cleve Heidelberg are pushing back against a request by the Illinois Attorney General’s office to end a review of his case.

Last summer, a Peoria County judge assigned Heidelberg’s case to the Attorney General’s office to serve as a special prosecutor in the investigation of his 1970 murder conviction.

On Thurs., Assistant Attorney General Bill Elward told Peoria County Judge Albert Purham, Jr. that it would be unethical to continue reviewing Heidelberg’s case. Elward says it “invites mischief” if the state weighs in on a pending legal matter.

Heidelberg could still be tried by the State again in Peoria County Court for the murder of a sheriff’s officer in 1970.

Heidelberg was released from jail just this week, following Judge Purham's decision to vacate the murder conviction last month.

The court will reconvene on July 21. In the meantime, Heidelberg’s team says they’ll file a motion defending their argument that the Attorney General's office should proceed with the investigation.

“It’s great that he’s free, don’t get me wrong, it’s fantastic that he’s out and about, but he’s out and about under the weight of a murder charge," Heidelberg's attorney Andy Hale said. "That burden is still on his shoulders. That’s the burden I really want to remove.”