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Man cleared of murder wants new judge for lawsuit

Published: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 10:52 p.m. CDT

BLOOMINGTON – A man who was imprisoned for 13 years before DNA evidence cleared him of murder has said he wants a judge outside his Illinois judicial district to hear his lawsuit accusing authorities of malicious prosecution.

Alan Beaman is suing the city of Normal and three police officers, saying they conspired to frame him in the death of his girlfriend, Illinois State University student Jennifer Lockmiller. He is seeking unspecified damages in the lawsuit.

The city and officers have denied the allegations.

Beaman’s attorney argued in a recent court filing that the case should be heard outside the 11th Judicial Circuit because there is a potential for conflict of interest, The Pantagraph reported. The 11th Judicial District includes Ford, Livingston, Logan, McLean and Woodford counties.

The Rockford man was convicted in Lockmiller’s 1993 strangulation death and was serving a 50-year sentence when the Illinois Supreme Court reversed his conviction in 2008. DNA testing pointed to two previously unknown suspects in the case. Beaman was granted an innocence certificate last year.

Normal police say the Lockmiller investigation remains open and an investigator is assigned to the case.

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