Illinois Supreme Court allows wrongfully convicted Rockford man to sue town of Normal, police detectives

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Illinois Supreme Court has paved the way for Alan Beaman, a Rockford man who served 13 years for a murder he did not commit, to sue the town of Normal and three former police detectives for wrongdoing.

Beaman was convicted of the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Jennifer Lockmiller, in 1995.

He was exonerated in 2008 and pardoned by Gov. Pat Quinn in 2015.

Beaman is now seeking damages against the Normal and three former police detectives: Tim Freesmeyer, Dave Warner and Frank Zayas.

Beaman’s civil case was filed in 2014, and claims the officers engaged in an intentional conspiracy against him.

According to The Pantagraph, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in favor of Beaman’s attempt to show the lack of probable cause for his arrest and prosecution.

“We find that Beaman has presented sufficient evidence to create a genuine issue of material fact as to whether there was an absence of probable cause to arrest and prosecute him for the murder,” Justice P. Scott Neville wrote in the opinion. “That determination must — and can only — be resolved by a trier of fact, and the lower courts erred in finding otherwise.”

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