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Lawyers support man’s lawsuit in wrongful murder conviction

January 18, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A dozen former prosecutors have filed a brief with the Illinois Supreme Court supporting a man’s efforts to sue three police officers and a town over his wrongful conviction for murder.

The brief asks the court to grant Alan Beaman’s request for a trial, The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reported .

Former Gov. Jim Thompson and best-selling crime author Scott Turow are among the lawyers who filed the brief. Other high-profile lawyers include those who served as a U.S. attorney for the northern district of Illinois, director of the Illinois State Police, Illinois attorney general, and prosecutors in the federal and Cook County court system.

Beaman alleges that former Normal police detectives Tim Freesmeyer, Frank Zayas and Dave Warner conspired to frame him in the 1993 strangulation death of his ex-girlfriend, Jennifer Lockmiller. The woman was a student at Illinois State University.

Beaman served more than 12 years of a 50-year sentence. The state Supreme Court reversed his murder conviction in 2008, saying evidence against Beaman was less than convincing. The state then granted him a certificate of innocence and Gov. Pat Quinn pardoned him.

The petition shows that the case represents the important issue of accountability in the criminal justice system, said Steven Art, the lawyer who filed the brief on behalf of the former prosecutors.

Thomas DiCianni, lawyer for Normal and the former officers, said he had no comment on the filing.

The high court reversed its decision to dismiss Beaman’s lawsuit last year and granted a petition to consider arguments in the case.

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Information from: The Pantagraph, http://www.pantagraph.com

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