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.