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BLOOMINGTON — Three years after Pam Zimmerman's death, a trial date has not been set for her accused killer.

The work of sorting evidence to be presented to the jury continues as the potential trial date slips into 2018 against Kirk Zimmerman. 

He has been to court more than 30 times since his arrest in July 2015 on charges that he killed his former wife, Pam Zimmerman, on Nov. 4, 2014.

Confined to his home, wearing an ankle bracelet that ensures he leaves only for medical- and lawyer-related appointments, Zimmerman, who has retired from State Farm, has put his Bloomington home on the market to raise money for his defense. The money is needed to hire experts to challenge evidence the state intends to introduce at trial, defense lawyer John Rogers said at previous court hearings.

Zimmerman was ordered to home confinement as part of his release on $200,000 bond in November 2015.

A protracted calendar is not uncommon in a murder case, said McLean County State's Attorney Jason Chambers.

"There have been a lot of motions and those have to be resolved before we can go to trial. Obviously everyone would like to see things move faster," said Chambers.

Zimmerman is anxious for the case to move forward. "Mr. Zimmerman eagerly awaits his trial date," Rogers said.

The case involves complex issues about the couple's finances, and the reliability of gunshot residue evidence and automotive tracking devices.

So far, the defense has filed 10 motions related to potential evidence that Zimmerman hopes will be limited or eliminated from a trial. The state has filed three motions, including one that took four days to resolve.

The state also has appealed two rulings by Judge Scott Drazewski: one barring the use of a photo line-up and the other severely limiting statements by witnesses who allegedly heard complaints from Pam Zimmerman about Kirk Zimmerman.

Rogers has asked the Illinois Supreme Court to review an appellate ruling that reversed Drazewski's decision to seal two defense motions despite media objections.

The lengthy pretrial process is necessary, said Rogers, noting the defense has been "both successful and diligent in highlighting the evidence that needs to be excluded so as to set this matter for trial as soon as possible."

Central Illinois has seen lengthy proceedings in other homicide cases.

The 2009 murder cases against brothers Chris and Jason Harris in the deaths of the five members of the Rick Gee family in Logan County concluded 3½ years later with a life sentence for Chris Harris on murder charges and 10 years for Jason Harris for concealment of a homicide.

The four-week trial of Chris Harris was moved to Peoria County after a defense motion that cited extensive media coverage. No such motion has been filed in the Zimmerman case.

Follow Edith Brady-Lunny on Twitter: @pg_blunny


McLean County Courts Reporter

McLean County courts reporter for The Pantagraph.

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