State's Top Court Orders New Trial For Beaman

By Eric Shangraw

July 15, 2010 Updated May 22, 2008 at 8:09 PM CDT

The Illinois Supreme court has reversed the conviction and ordered a new trial for the Rockford man convicted of murdering his girlfriend in Normal 15 years ago.

In the court ruling filed today, the justices wrote that McLean County prosecutors violated Alan Beaman's right to due process by failing to disclose material information about alternative suspects.

Beaman is serving a 50-year sentence for killing Jennifer Lockmiller.

The 22–year-old college student was found strangled and stabbed in her apartment in August of 1993.

The Supreme Court determined that an alternative suspect, referred to in the order as John Doe, didn't complete a polygraph exam, had been charged with domestic battery before Beaman's trial, had physically abused Lockmiller on a number of prior occasions, and used steroids, which had caused him to act erratically.

Beaman will remain in custody pending a new trial.

In a press release this afternoon, McLean County State's Attorney Bill Yoder said, "I am saddened for the family of Jennifer Lockmiller. My office will take a short period of time to review the opinion, meet and discuss our options with law enforcement and then announce the fashion in which we will proceed."

Pending further action in this matter, the defendant is entitled to request the trial court to set an appropriate bond.

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