Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2013, 10:28 pm

Davenport man's lawyer given 90 days to adjust petition for post-conviction relief

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By Lisa Hammer, rlhammer@qconline.com

CAMBRIDGE -- Henry County CircuitJudge Ted Hamer has given defense attorney Ed Woller 90 days to amend, add or supplement a petition for post-conviction relief for Jim Richardson, a Davenport man convicted in the Aug. 2, 2002, beating death of Harold Collins, of Orion.

Judge Hamer sentenced Mr. Richardson to 60 years in prison in the case.

Filed in 2010, the petition for post-conviction relief claims Mr. Richardson's rights were violated under the U.S. and Illinois constitutions, and that his sentence exceeds his life expectancy. He cites case law he claims forces his sentence to be proportional to the crime, but outside the context of a death penalty.

At trial, issues emerged about Mr. Collins being upset Mr. Richardson was borrowing money from his sister, who was Mr. Collins' wife. Mr. Richardson also was convicted of theft.

Mr. Richardson claims his original attorney, Eugene Stockton, failed to present various evidence, including that he was not heavily in debt and had no motive to kill or blackmail anyone. He claimed at trial a third party forced him to witness the murder at gunpoint, but testimony was kept from the jury.

In June 2005, the Third District Appellate Court affirmed the trial court's judgment, noting the murder weapon (a 2-by-4) was found where Mr. Richardson said it would be, on top of a shed on the Ben Butterworth Parkway, and there was no physical evidence to suggest a third party was involved.