More Waiting for Heidelberg: Judge Denies Request for Speedy Trial

Jun 30, 2017

Cleve Heidelberg
Credit Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

74-year-old Cleve Heidelberg appeared in a Peoria County courtroom today, following his attorney's motion requesting a speedy trial.

Peoria County Judge Al Purham ultimately ruled that request is improper, as Heidelberg’s case still awaits a ruling from the Appellate Court judge in Ottawa, Ill.

Heidelberg’s attorneys say the post-conviction case that has continued for more than a year has been dragged out long enough, adding their client is in poor health. 

The court also ruled to bar the broadcast company NBC from accessing a video deposition from Matt Clark, a key testimony used to argue Heidelberg’s case for innocence. NBC is producing a segment about Heidelberg for an upcoming television series.

Both Heidelberg's attorney Don Jackson and the State Appellate Prosecutor Matt Jones objected to sharing Clark's testimony with NBC.

Judge Purham says he's concerned that deposition could influence a jury in a possible trial.

Heidelberg could still be retried in Peoria County Court, facing charges of murdering a Peoria County Sheriff’s officer in 1970. His guilty conviction was vacated in April, after serving 47 years in prison.

Heidelberg's next hearing is set for July 21.