Newly Discovered Documents Prompt Motion for Continuance in Heidelberg Case

Feb 7, 2017

Attorneys representing 73-year-old Cleve Heidelberg are seeking to postpone a third stage hearing, scheduled for Wed.

The last-minute motion for continuance, filed Mon. by attorney Don Jackson, says Heidelberg’s defense recently learned about the existence of a cache of documents pertaining to the case.

Monday’s filing says four boxes of documents spanning a decade were “found in the basement of the Peoria County Courthouse.”

Peoria County State’s Attorney Jerry Brady says since Heidelberg’s records include civil petitions and lawsuits on the City, County, National and Federal levels, documents were kept at various departments. Brady says he’s still “getting his arms around everything.”

Cleve Heidelberg talks with his attorney Don Jackson, during a hearing in Dec.
Credit Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

“There were documents found in the basement, some in storage, some at the County Clerk’s Office, and some at the Police Department,” Brady said.

The motion says some of those records were acquired by Matt Jones, who is representing the State of Illinois in the case.

The filing says Jones allegedly shared this information with Heidelberg’s attorney, Andy Hale, during a face-to-face meeting on Feb. 3. Jones confirms he met with Hale but wouldn’t provide further details, citing ethical obligations.

Heidelberg’s defense is requesting that the State’s Attorney’s office “immediately produce” all documents pertaining to the criminal case. They’re also seeking records from a civil lawsuit Heidelberg filed in the 1980s.

It’s not immediately clear how this development will affect Wednesday’s evidentiary hearing, which is set for 9am.

If the case moves forward as scheduled, Heidelberg could be cross-examined for the first time in nearly 50 years, when he was charged for murdering a Peoria County sheriff's deputy.

The motion for continuance seeks to delay a final decision, until Heidelberg’s defense can review additional exhibits pertaining to the case.

“They’re welcome to look at what we have,” Peoria County State’s Attorney Jerry Brady said. “There is nothing here that they can’t access.”