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Judge tosses lawsuit over ISU murder conviction

Published: Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 9:24 a.m. CDT

PEORIA — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a man who spent more than a decade in prison before DNA evidence cleared him in the murder of his girlfriend.

Alan Beaman of Rockford was convicted in the 1993 strangulation death of Illinois State University student Jennifer Lockmiller and spent 13 years in prison. He was serving a 50-year sentence when the Illinois Supreme Court reversed his conviction in 2008, and DNA testing pointed to two previously unknown suspects in the case.

In 2010, Beaman sued former McLean County prosecutors and former and current police officers in Normal, where Lockmiller was found dead. He claimed former prosecutors and police conspired to wrongfully accuse him. Some defendants had already been dropped from the suit.

A U.S. District Court judge granted a motion for dismissal last week by lawyers for two former Normal officers, one current officer and the town of Normal, The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reported.

"We're pleased with the decision but will wait to see if the plaintiff files an appeal," said Normal City Manager Mark Peterson. "We know it's not necessarily over yet."

Beaman's lawyer, Locke Bowman, said, "Obviously, we are disappointed by the ruling. We are reviewing our options."

Beaman was a student at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington when he was arrested in 1994. He has always insisted he was at his parents' home in Rockford when Lockmiller was killed.

He was granted a certificate of innocence last year and has a clemency petition pending before Gov. Pat Quinn.

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