UPDATE: Clifford Andersen found guilty in Deborah Dewey case

By  | 

PUTNAM COUNTY, Ill. (KWQC) - UPDATE 7/20/18: Putnam Co. State's Attorney's Office confirms Clifford Andersen was convicted today for murder and concealment of a homicide.

UPDATE 7/17/18: More testimony this afternoon about the crime scene investigation. The jury also heard testimony about whether the DNA of Clifford Andersen, the man accused of the murder and concealment of death of his sister-in-law Deborah Dewey was found at the crime scene.

The jury saw various items placed into evidence. Early in this trial the jury was told Dewey was buried with manure. The jury also heard a shovel and rake was located nearby and there was blood located on the wheels of a Bissell carpet cleaner. Tuesday all of that came into play.

The jury saw those items in court. Testimony showed blood was found on the wheels of the Bissell and the cord. But the CSI agent testified that Clifford Andersen’s DNA was not found on the shovel rake hammers found inside the home. We also heard the body was wrapped in a tarp blanket with duct tape. His DNA was also not found on those items.

In opening statements the state explained their belief that the crime scene had been cleaned up. However, because of the large blood like stain found on the carpet inside the Standard, Illinois home and the blood splatter on the walls, when asked by defense if there was evidence of clean up the CSI agent said there was not.

A forensic entomologist testified on the decomposition of the body. She estimated the murder could’ve occurred as early as August 22, the day Dewey was last seen, and as late as August 31st.

UPDATE 7/12/18: Day four of the Clifford Andersen Trial:

Thursday, the State call several more witnesses to testify. The first part of the day focused mostly on the day Dewey went missing.

To set the scene, the State explained how Clifford Andersen visited the Denny’s at the Flying J Truck Stop. The State called several of the Denny’s staff members to testify about Andersen on the day Dewey went missing. Those witnesses say they were very familiar with Andersen as he came to Denny’s every day, several times a day. On that August 2016 day, however, they say they noticed something different about Andersen. In the morning, they say he was wearing one outfit when he first came to Denny’s. Then later in the day, they say he came back to Denny’s wearing a different outfit. They say he also parked in a different spot as opposed to his usual spot up front in one of the handicapped spots.

The jury also heard from an Illinois State Police Sergeant who says he saw the surveillance video from Denny’s of that same day in August. He says he made several handwritten time notes on when Andersen entered the building and what he was wearing. The officer also identified the change of clothes. However, the officer was not able to download the video. He says he didn’t have a big enough hard drive. That officer then went on medical leave for surgery and he says as far as he knows, nobody followed up to get the video, meaning the jury was not able to actually see that proof.

In this part of witness testimony, the State was noting that change in clothes as evidence Andersen could have committed the murder during that time. The defense was using the lack of video to their advantage.

During the afternoon, Dewey’s niece and sisters, Andersen’s friend, and the special agent who found the body took the stand.

Dewey’s niece aided in the search efforts after Dewey went missing. She spoke about a family gathering where they discussed the search for her aunt. The State asked the niece to describe her uncle, Clifford Andersen’s demeanor. She testified that before Dewey’s disappearance, he was an uncle who was always talking and having fun. However she says she noticed a change at that gathering saying he hardly said a word. Dewey’s sisters who testified had a similar story.

During opening statements, the State told us Clifford Andersen was seen buying manure at Walmart. The State says Dewey’s body was buried with manure on top.

The jury was able to view text messages where Andersen’s wife tells her sisters that Andersen came home one evening looking badly and smelling like horse manure. His wife says Andersen told her he was riding a horse with a friend to search for Dewey. That friend, who he said he was riding with, also testified Thursday saying he never rode horses with Andersen.

Several times throughout the trial it’s been stated Andersen drove a white SUV. The special agent who testified Thursday says when they found the burial site at the vacant house Andersen took care of, he could see a person in a white SUV watching from a distance. The agent says the vehicle would disappear, then appear in a different spot. This happened several times according to the agent. The agent and his partner then became concerned. Finally, the agent says he could see that it was Andersen driving that vehicle.

The trial continues Wednesday. It’s unclear who will take the stand, however according to a witness list, it appears that Andersen’s wife will testify at some point.

UPDATE 7/11/18: Wednesday, the jury was seated and opening statements began. The State opened with a timeline of events; laying out what happened from the day Dewey went missing to once her body was found. They had a few key points they believe prove Andersen murdered Dewey. Their biggest was they say Andersen was seen after her disappearance taking a carpet cleaner vacuum-like machine into the house where her body was found. They say police found blood matching Dewey’s in the wheel of that cleaner.

In the Defense's opening statement, they told the ways in which the DNA testing could be tainted. Likewise, they say a year earlier, Dewey stayed with Andersen and his wife, Diane while she was recovering from surgery due to cancer. They say her wounds oozed at times which they say could be a reason blood was found on the wheel.
The jury also heard testimony from witnesses. Dewey's son Christopher was up first. He spoke about his mother’s divorce from his father and what happened during the week she was missing.

The court then heard from Dewey’s friend from work, her boss, a coworker she previously had a dispute with, and Chris’s boss from work.

Here's why each of those testimonies is important. The State has the burden to prove 100% Andersen committed the murder. To do so, they must call up witnesses that can testify not only about where they were and their relationship but also to confirm the testimony from other witnesses. The State or Defense could also call them in cases where they are considered the expert; like a police officer or doctor. Witnesses were not allowed to hear each other’s testimonies.

In this case, the Defense will work to present other possibilities or doubts in the minds of the jurors.

UPDATE 7/9/18: Clifford Andersen's trial started Monday morning with jury selection. As of Monday evening, eight jurors are seated. Four more still need to be selected, plus two alternate jurors.

UPDATE 06/28/18: Clifford Andersen's trial in the death of Deborah Dewey is set for July 9th at 9 am.

ORIGINAL: The man charged in the death of a Bureau County, Ill. woman is expected in Putnam County court Monday morning.

Clifford Andersen is charged with murder and concealing a homicide. Anderson was indicted last November in the death of Deborah Dewey of Ladd, Ill.

Dewey was last seen in August 2016 in Spring Valley. Her car was found seven days later at a truck stop.

Police then searched a home in Standard, a small community in Putnam County, and found Dewey's body in a shallow grave in the yard. 

Andersen is expected in court at 9 a.m. for a routine hearing on Monday, May 7. His trial is set for July 9.