Originally Posted Online: April 02, 2013, 8:41 am
Last Updated: April 02, 2013, 11:44 am

Prosecutors drop challenge in Beaman case

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — Prosecutors in McLean County are no longer challenging a certificate of innocence petition from a man who spent 13 years in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend.

McLean County State's Attorney Jason Chambers said Monday that he made the decision after DNA testing pointed to two male unidentified male profiles that didn't match Beaman, The Pantagraph in Bloomington reports. The 22-year-old Decatur woman was found strangled with a clock radio cord and stabbed in the chest with scissors in an apartment in Normal.

"The testing of these items, believed to be the most valuable potential sources for additional DNA testing, has now been completed. The state of technology in 1993 was not what it is now and the investigation continues," Chambers said.

Beaman spent more than 13 years in prison after being convicted of stabbing and strangling Illinois State University student Jennifer Lockmiller in 1993. The Illinois Supreme Court threw out his conviction in May 2008, ruling that prosecutors suppressed evidence about another suspect. Beaman was released the next month. He had been sentenced to 50 years.

Beaman is requesting the innocence certificate in an effort to clear his name and make himself eligible to seek about $177,000 in state compensation.

Beaman's attorneys with the Bluhm legal Clinic at Northwestern University School of Law praised the prosecutor's decision.

"I applaud Mr. Chambers for reaching this conclusion and hopefully he will work with us to ask that the certificate of innocence be granted by the court," Beaman attorney Karen Daniel said.

Chambers said Lockmiller's case remains open and the investigation into her death continues.