WMBD News | By Andy Kravetz | Published July 19, 2023 at 5:14 PM CDT
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — A man who has been fighting for years to prove he didn’t kill his 3-year-old daughter now has a date when he make his case before a judge.
Barton McNeil will argue before McLean County Circuit Judge William Yoder what he thinks will land him a new trial. The third-stage post-conviction hearing on Nov. 21 will be limited to two things — child welfare records and a confession by another person — that were contained in McNeil’s petition.
McNeil is in the process of attacking his 25-year-old first-degree murder conviction through the post-conviction process, a form of an appeal that goes through the trial court, not an appellate court. Yoder, speaking from the bench, said he wouldn’t allow in additional evidence sought by McNeil’s attorneys.
At a hearing in June, Yoder noted a post-conviction hearing wasn’t a mini trial on the original issues but only to gauge whether there was enough evidence to suggest that a new trial was needed.
McNeil is serving a 99-year prison sentence for the suffocation death of his daughter Christina in 1998. Since then, McNeil has maintained no wrongdoing and has continued to fight for a new trial.
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