Important witness in Heitbrink trial arrested, again

By Gary Scott on December 4, 2015 at 8:42am

2013 mugshot.

A Springfield man who testified during the Robert Heitbrink murder trial earlier this year has been arrested.

Twenty-one-year-old Christian Moroney was booked at the Morgan County Jail at around 6:45 yesterday morning for residential burglary. Moroney allegedly broke into a garage and a vehicle in the Westwinds neighborhood when he was arrested, according to the Jacksonville Police Department.

During the mid-October trial, Moroney said he was riding his bike past the Heitbrink residence when he “heard a ruckus,” and saw Heitbrink standing over his ex-father-in-law, William McElhaney, pointing at him, appearing angry. Moroney said he thought they were having a “drunk fight” and sped off.

He said he didn’t say anything about the incident until two days after he was arrested in October, but when defense attorney Larry Elmore questioned his motives for testifying, he said he was “acting as a good citizen.”

Heitbrink’s attorney criticized Moroney and asked why jurors should be expected to believe a convicted felon.

Moroney was sentenced to four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections in November of 2013 for two counts of residential burglary, and was arrested in connection to a rash of car thefts in 2013.

Moroney remains in custody.