By Gretchen Ross
NORMAL, IL - Thirteen years ago, Alan Beaman was found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Illinois State University student Jennifer Lockmiller. But a new ruling from the Illinois Supreme Court reverses that conviction.
Alan's mom Carol Beaman says she's anxiously been waiting during her son's trial and appeal to bring her youngest son home. And today's decision brings her one step closer to that goal.
All seven Illinois Supreme Court justices vote to reverse Alan Beaman's conviction. In their 20 page decision, the court agrees with Beaman who argues he never got a fair trial, partly because key information about another suspect was left out of the case. Carol tells us, "It's not over yet because remanded means it can go back to trial. It most likely will."
If McLean County State's Attorney Bill Yoder decides to retry Beaman, new evidence would be presented before a jury. Beaman's defense attorney Karen Daniel says, "We're in a different situation in that. We have this new evidence regarding John Doe and there is also other evidence that wasn't used, that wasn't put before a jury At the first trial that would be put before a jury at a second trial and that's evidence that substantially strengthens Alan Beaman's alibi that he was in Rockford not Normal at the time of the murder."
For now Beaman's family welcomes the new decision, but not without questions. His dad Barry says, "Why does it take so long? Why does the court system take such a horrendously long time to right a wrong. And in this case, the wrong is so obvious all seven Supreme Court justices vote for the reversal."
Beaman is currently serving his 13th year in a 50 year prison sentence at the Dixon Correctional Center.
Right now the future of the case rests in the hands of McLean County State's Attorney Bill Yoder. He released a statement saying he will take a short period of time to review the opinion, talk with law enforcement and then announce a decision on whether to retry Beaman.