SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WEEK) — The Illinois Supreme Court has reversed a lower court’s decision dismissing Alan Beaman’s lawsuit against the town of Normal and former police officers in his tossed-out murder conviction case.
Beaman was convicted of his ex-girlfriend’s Jennifer Lockmiller’s 1993 murder. In 2008, the Illinois Supreme Court found Beaman’s right to due process was violated, and threw his sentence out. The state declined to reprosecute, and former Gov. Pat Quinn pardoned him in 2015.
In 2010, Beaman filed suit against several former Normal Police Department officers, alleging they withheld evidence that would have countered the state’s argument that he was the only potential suspect in Lockmiller’s murder, violating his civil rights. Beaman sued for malicious prosecution, civil conspiracy and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the former officers and the Town of Normal.
That suit was dismissed without prejudice and refiled by Beaman in 2014. The circuit court found the former officers ““did not exert any unusual influence on the prosecutors which caused a malicious
prosecution to take place against [Beaman]” and dismissed the case. The appellate court affirmed the summary judgment.
However, the Illinois Supreme Court found the court used the wrong legal test in making a summary judgment against Beaman. The court sent the civil suit back to the appellate court for reconsideration.