DuPage Co. judge vacates man's arson murder conviction, orders new trial

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Bill Amor was convicted of setting a fire that killed his mother-in-law in 1995, but always maintained his innocence. A judge vacated his conviction and ordered a new trial. (WLS)

Bill Amor was convicted of setting a fire that killed his mother-in-law in 1995, but always maintained his innocence. Tuesday, a DuPage County judge vacated his conviction and ordered a new trial.

Amor posted bond and was released Tuesday afternoon. He has steadfastly maintained his innocence since his arrest, and with information from new scientific technology, a judge agreed the evidence deserved a second look.

Amor hadn't felt the fresh air of the free world in nearly 22 years.

"Haven't slept much, haven't eaten much, haven't done much of anything except wait for this moment," Amor said upon his release.

Amor was locked up in 1995 and convicted of arson murder after his mother-in-law died in a Naperville apartment fire. Flanked by a team from the Illinois Innocence Project, one of his lawyers explained what's changed in the outside world that allowed him to walk free.

"Back in the 80's and 90's, arson investigators went by more of a gut feeling, more of an art from than a science," said Lauren Kaeseberg, Illinois Innocence Project. "Science has become much more of a science, actually. We can now look at this case with eyes from 2017, with real science applied, and know that there was really no arson in this case."

There will be simple things for Amor to adjust to. Bill was 40 when he was first locked up; he just turned 62.

Amor is out on bond, but as he heads to a real home with a friend, he and his team are preparing to re-fight his arson conviction all over again in a few months.

"Walk away with a conviction? Never going to happen. We never stopped. All we've ever asked for from the jury in the beginning is to see the truth, and this judge saw that," Amor said.

Amor's new trial starts on September 12.

Related Topics:
conviction overturnedarsonmurderDuPage CountyNaperville
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