Judge dismisses federal lawsuit filed by Beaman

2014-01-08T18:45:00Z 2014-01-08T18:54:00Z Judge dismisses federal lawsuit filed by BeamanBy Edith Brady-Lunny eblunny@pantagraph.com pantagraph.com

PEORIA — A federal district court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a former Bloomington man against several Normal police officers and former McLean County prosecutors who were accused of conspiring to wrongfully convict him of his girlfriend’s 1993 murder.

Alan Beaman filed the civil litigation in 2010 following his release from prison after the Illinois Supreme Court overturned his murder conviction in the death of Jennifer Lockmiller, an Illinois State University student at the time. Beaman served 12 years before his release and a subsequent decision by the McLean County state’s attorney’s office to dismiss the murder charges.

In reaction Wednesday, Normal City Manager Mark Peterson said, “We’re pleased with the decision but will wait to see if the plaintiff files an appeal. We know it’s not necessarily over yet.”

Beaman’s lawyer Locke Bowman of Chicago commented: “Obviously, we are disappointed by the ruling. We are reviewing our options.”

In a Jan. 3 ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Joe Billy McDade granted a motion by lawyers for former Normal officers Tim Freesmeyer and Frank Zayas, current officer Dave Warner and the town of Normal that the lawsuit be dismissed.

The judge rejected claims from Beaman’s counsel that police conspired with current McLean County Judge Charles Reynard, who was state’s attorney during the investigation, and now-retired Judge James Souk, who served as prosecutor.

McLean County, former McLean County Detective John Brown and several Normal officers were previously dropped from the lawsuit along with the judges.

Beaman was granted a certificate of innocence last year from the state, a designation that allowed him to collect about $180,000 as an exonerated person. Still pending before Gov. Pat Quinn is a clemency petition filed by Beaman, now of Rockford.

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(8) Comments

  1. skeete44
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    skeete44 - January 09, 2014 1:56 pm
    It reminds me of a similar case in Rantoul where a man was convicted and spent 33 years in prison. It's a shame that this person spent all that time in prison of a shoddy CJS in Champaign County. What's more ironic is they have the perp's name in the Rantoul murder and won't go to Minneapolis to get him. Maybe this is setting case law for Andre Davis in the Rantoul murder. Sad, just plain sad!
  2. plainjane777
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    plainjane777 - January 09, 2014 9:37 am
    In addition to hiding the time tests, they hid evidence of an alternative suspect. This is so very wrong.
  3. pitdogg2
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    pitdogg2 - January 09, 2014 8:04 am
    EXACTLY ^^^^^^
  4. BC
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    BC - January 09, 2014 5:40 am
    Anyone who follwed the trail at the time could plainly see the state's evidence was weak. The almost impossible timeline should have been enough to make they look at other equally or likely suspects. One of whom knew her and had a violent history. This was purely a case of pick a suspect and build a case, Beaman drew the short straw. Anyone who still clings to Beaman's guilt either didn't follow the case, hasn't read through it or is someone involved in some manner with the wrongful conviction. Beaman didn't help himself by alienating the jury with his arrogant attitude. He was an accused only his mother could love.
  5. earthling
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    earthling - January 08, 2014 9:00 pm
    Yes...a knowingly bogus case according to the unanimous...unanimous, decision of the Illinois Supreme Court.
  6. Ted Kennedy's Swim Instructor
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    Ted Kennedy's Swim Instructor - January 08, 2014 8:53 pm
    It still doesn't do anything to explain how the prosecutor could argue against an almost impossible timeline for Beaman to have committed the crime. There has to be a common sense point that a prosecutor would step back, view the lack of evidence, and say "This really isn't a strong case . . ."
  7. BigBrother
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    BigBrother - January 08, 2014 8:33 pm
    Its about time someone saw the truth no one conspired to railroad Beaman. He was the prime suspect and the prosecutor presented a case to the jury.
  8. That's a fact Jack
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    That's a fact Jack - January 08, 2014 7:38 pm
    Sure hope this doesn't mean they can sleep at night.
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