Local Murder Appeal Goes to Ill. Supreme Court

By: Alice Barr
By: Alice Barr

A Rockford native claims he's spent 13 years behind bars for a murder he didn't commit. Tuesday he takes his appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court. 23 News sat down with Beaman's family for an exclusive interview.
Illinois State University student Jennifer Lockmiller was murdered in her apartment in Bloomington-Normal in August 1993. She had recently broken up with Rockford-native Alan Beaman after a rocky relationship.
Finding Beaman's fingerprint, along with others, on an alarm clock used to kill Lockmiller by strangling her with the cord, prosecutors convicted Beaman of the murder.
But in a May 2006 interview with 23 News he stood by his innocence.
"I did not commit the crime and I just rest in that," says Alan Beaman, speaking from the Dixon Correctional Facility in May 2006.
Beaman's two previous appeals have upheld his conviction. But his family is hoping the Illinois Supreme Court will change that, when they start hearing the case Tuesday.
"I'm looking forward to the day that he can get out and I can put my arms around him," says Beaman's brother Kelley.
The appeal will focus around another possible suspect and a timeline. Phone records show two calls were made from the Beaman's home in Rockford just after 10:30 A.M. The defense says Beaman placed the calls, while prosecutors claim it was Beaman's mother, Carol Beaman.
Carol says, "Those two phone calls, I did not make, my husband did not make, the only one who could have made them was Alan and if he made those phone calls then for him to be in Bloomington-Normal when the prosecutors say he was [12:00 P.M.], he would have had to average 105 miles per hour. It's not possible."
Carol Beaman also says she had no reason to place the calls. She says they were to a church friend of Alan's regarding a rehearsal.
Another point of contention in the case, Beaman was videotaped at a bank at 10:11 A.M. At his original trial a detective testified he couldn't have made it home in time to place the two phone calls. But the detective later admitted Beaman could have made it using an alternate route.
The Illinois Attorney General's office is handling arguments against Beaman Tuesday. They have no comment about the case until the appeal is finished. Beaman's appeal is one of 20 cases the Illinois Supreme Court will hear out of 400 submitted. It will be weeks or months before they reach a decision.


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