Fourth Time Lucky for Malicious Prosecution?
A Rockland man exonerated for a 1995 murder conviction is hoping so after appellate judges heard a fourth round of arguments over whether his suit against cops in Normal can move ahead this week. Attorneys for Alan Beaman claim that three now-retired officers should be held to account for mishandling the investigation into the death of Beaman’s former girlfriend at her apartment near the Illinois State University campus in 1993. Beaman served 13 years in prison before the state Supreme Court overturned the conviction based on the prosecution’s failure to inform the jury about a second suspect in the case. Charges against Beaman were later dropped and he has spent the intervening years seeking damages againt the city of Normal and its police department, which he claims conspired in the wrongful prosecution. After declining to hear Beaman’s third attempt at redress, the state Supreme Court reversed itself and in February sent the case back to the Fourth District Appellate Court. Beaman also is claiming for emotional distress in the civil suit. In 2013, Beaman received $182,000 in compensation from the state along with a certificate of innocence.