Beaman lawyers say new DNA results point to two unknown suspects

2012-12-20T19:30:00Z 2013-04-02T08:58:52Z Beaman lawyers say new DNA results point to two unknown suspectsBy Edith Brady-Lunny | eblunny@pantagraph.com pantagraph.com

BLOOMINGTON — Saying newly released DNA test results point to two previously unknown suspects in the 1993 Jennifer Lockmiller murder, lawyers for Alan Beaman are calling for the McLean County state’s attorney’s office to drop its opposition to his certificate of innocence claim in the case.

Beaman was released from prison in 2008 after the Illinois Supreme Court reversed his murder conviction in the death of his former girlfriend, an Illinois State University student. The state dismissed the murder charges in 2009 and he served 13 years of a 50-year sentence.

Beaman is excluded as a source of the DNA found on three items of the victim’s clothing and the cord of an alarm clock believed to have been used to strangle her, according to Karen Daniel, who along with Jeffrey Urdangen from the Bluhm Legal Clinic at the Northwestern University School of Law, represents Beaman.

The male DNA is consistent, however, with profiles developed in tests conducted earlier this year on a vaginal swab from the victim.

“The emerging DNA is consistent with Ms. Lockmiller having been sexually assaulted and murdered by one or more individuals not previously the focus of the police investigation,” Daniel said Thursday.

The Chicago legal team asked State’s Attorney Jason Chambers to end the state’s challenge to the innocence claim that if granted would make Beaman eligible for $170,000 in state compensation as a wrongly convicted person.

The new evidence “further strengthens Alan Beaman’s already extremely compelling claim of innocence,” said Daniel.

Chambers’ office took exception to Daniel’s assertion that the new evidence shows Lockmiller was sexually assaulted. Testimony from a pathologist at Beaman’s trial indicated that the victim had not been sexually assaulted, said Assistant State’s Attorney Pablo Eves.

The state’s conclusion from the DNA is that at least one other individual may have had sex with Lockmiller before she died.

“However, the current results do not mean that this person is the killer. The current results do not mean that Mr. Beaman is innocent. Please recall, Mr. Beaman’s fingerprints were found on the murder weapon at the scene of the crime,” Eves said in a statement.

Beaman’s lawyers have long argued that his fingerprints were found on Lockmiller’s alarm clock because he stayed there during their relationship.

“The murder of Ms. Lockmiller remains unsolved,” Eves said.

For the most part, three other men who dated Lockmiller and were interviewed by police also were excluded in the testing, said Daniel.

One of the three men cannot be excluded as a possible contributor to DNA found on the victim’s belt and underwear, “but the very limited available information would also include about one in three males in the general population,” said Daniel.

The scientific testing also was performed on scissors used to stab Lockmiller, but no male DNA was found on the item, according to the defense.

The newest report was provided to Daniel on Tuesday at a hearing in Champaign County on Beaman’s petition to be declared innocent of the charges.

Urdangen had harsh words for Chambers’ predecessors Charles Reynard and Bill Yoder and the state’s previous opposition to DNA testing. The latest round of testing was requested by the state last year as part of Beaman’s innocence petition case.

“What, if anything, did Mr. Yoder do to investigate the murder in the years after the Supreme Court vacated this wrongful conviction? It is ironic and tragic that efforts to seek the truth through modern science were initiated only after Alan filed his civil action.”

Still pending is a federal lawsuit Beaman filed against Reynard and James Souk, who recently retired as a judge, and several police officers who worked on the murder investigation. Beaman also has asked Gov. Pat Quinn to consider granting him clemency.

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(6) Comments

  1. sandg
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    sandg - December 22, 2012 7:39 am
    Ok. The prosecutors asked for the DNA testing. And now it has come back in Alan's favor. So, what is the State's Attorney going to do now? Find yet another reason to delay in getting Alan what he deserves--a certification of innocence and an apology? Unfortunately, I am afraid the answer is yes. That office just does not want to admit that they have been blaming the wrong person for nearly two decades. It is time for both Alan and Jennifer to receive justice. Please start to put your efforts into finding the real killers of this young woman!
  2. Willan
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    Willan - December 21, 2012 7:38 am
    I agree. What is really disappointing is that the States Attorney is still acting like he is in a My Cousin Vinnie episode. It's ok to admit that you were wrong...and ruined numerous years of an individuals life.
  3. exrepub
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    exrepub - December 21, 2012 5:59 am
    If evidence shows other dna then he should be granted clemency. Noone should spend a minute in court or jail because of the something they did not do. Of course when people find out their dna is found, they always have an excuse too. As far as the clock with dna I guess it would depend on what kind of dna and where it was on the clock and if it could be explained.
  4. Smartone
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    Smartone - December 20, 2012 8:52 pm
    All I can say is wow and thank goodness for DNA testing today. There are to many innocent people in our prisons and the criminals walking the streets. DNA can provide either evidence to convict beyond a shadow of a doubt, or it can clear a person of a crime. DNA doesn't lie and it should be used in all cases when available. It builds a DNA base for everyone that goes through the court system rather innocent or not guilty. Just to put someone behind bars to get a conviction is wrong morally for the prosecution and steal the life out of the innocent and their entire family past, present, and future. Compensation of $170,000 from the state is nothing. I can thoroughly understand why people are compelled to sue once they can prove they were not guilty and all the facts and evidence that includes DNA were not used in the courts during the trial. Pressure to put someone under arrest and have them convicted of a crime they did not commit should not supercede individual rights and suppress evidence. When innocent people are found guilty and put in jail, do you really think the community is safer with someone loose and on the outside that really did the crime? I think not and I hope Mr. Beaman gets his clemency from Govenor Quinn.
  5. everyoneknows
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    everyoneknows - December 20, 2012 8:31 pm
    Yes NPD and Mclean County have a hard time admitting they were wrong.
  6. moderndaycowboy
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    moderndaycowboy - December 20, 2012 8:13 pm
    The Normal PD sure did screw this one up. Keystone Cops.
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