Former McLean County State’s Attorney, judge dies at age 73

Ron Dozier. (WJBC file photo)

 

By Neil Doyle

BLOOMINGTON – Former McLean County State’s Attorney and judge Ron Dozier died Monday after a lengthy illness at the age of 73.

Dozier is best known for taking David Hendricks to trial, who was found guilty of killing his wife and three children in their Bloomington home in 1983, but later had his convictions overturned.

Former WJBC News Director Steve Vogel covered the investigation and trials, which he documented in his book, “Reasonable Doubt.” Vogel shared a Facebook post Tuesday recognizing Dozier.

Dozier served as the county’s top prosecutor from 1976 to 1987, then became a judge until he retired in 2006. Former WJBC reporter Howard Packowitz knew Dozier when he covered the courts.

“There are many, many news stories I probably would not have gotten if it weren’t for Judge Dozier,” said Packowitz.  “He’d allow reporters to walk into the judge’s chambers and check court files if they weren’t in the clerk’s office.  He was a good guy and he trusted the media,” Packowitz said.

Dozier is a native of Mill Shoals in southern Illinois. According to his CaringBridge page, arrangements are pending.

Neil Doyle can be reached at neil.doyle@cumulus.com

Blogs

Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…