Judge Grants Special Prosecutor to Investigate Heidelberg Case

Jul 28, 2016

Cleve Heidelberg (right) consults with his attorneys Don Jackson (center) and Andy Hale (left) during a hearing Thurs. in Peoria County Circuit Court. 73-year-old Cleve Heidelberg is serving a minimum 99-year prison sentence for his murder conviction of a white Sheriff’s deputy.
Credit David Zalaznik / Peoria Journal Star

A Peoria County judge ruled Thurs. a special prosecutor should be named in a 46-year-old murder case. Judge Al Purham told the courtroom he was “troubled” and “not satisfied” by the initial investigation that led to the conviction of 73-year-old Cleve Heidelberg in 1970.

Heidelberg’s attorney Andy Hale says the judge’s decision is promising going forward.

“Somebody is now going to fully and fairly look at the case,” Hale said. “I’m so excited about that because I know in my heart that if somebody does look at all the facts, I think they’re going to come to the right conclusion, and I think they’re going to come to the conclusion that Cleve Heidelberg is innocent.”

Heidelberg appeared in courtroom to represent himself in a separate post-conviction filing. He’s asking the court to vacate his conviction in the interest of justice. Both matters will be addressed at the next hearing set for September 22nd.