Normal Town Council approves multi-million dollar settlement

Beaman was convicted of murder in 1995, but the Illinois Supreme Court threw out his sentence in 2008. (Town of Normal Facebook Page)


NORMAL – Alan Beaman was scheduled for a civil trial later this month against the town of Normal, but a $5.4 million settlement has ended the trial before it even started.

On Monday, the town’s council unanimously voted to approve the multi-million settlement for Beaman.

Beaman was convicted of murder in 1995, but the Illinois Supreme Court threw out his sentence in 2008.

He was alleged to have strangled his ex-girlfriend, Jennifer Lockmiller, a student at Illinois State University at the time, by using the cord of a clock radio in her apartment in 1993. He was convicted of murder, but the Supreme Court said the facts just weren’t there to support a conviction.

Beaman sued the town and several police officers for malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and conspiracy. And the state Supreme Court said that was OK, despite the notion that usually police officers are protected from that.

Interim Assistant City Manager Brian Day said that $4 million would be covered by the town’s liability insurance, and the town itself would have a “maximum exposure” of $1.4 million.

Day wanted to make it clear that the town of Normal is still fully standing by the investigation conducted by police, and that the settlement denies any wrongdoing.

It came down to “risk management,” according to Day.

“This was simply a matter of looking at the potential for a large verdict that was greater than our insurance coverage and balancing that against the chances at trial,” he said.

Day would not comment on if the town’s insurance rates would go up as a result, but he did say the vote is a continuation of the town’s “conservative” approach to budgeting.

“We try to handle problems at the smaller level rather than letting them grow to unmanageable levels,” Day said.

The motion includes an adjustment to the budget that can account for the $1.4 million of “maximum exposure” for the town.

Also at the council meeting, multiple projects were approved, including a nearly $700,000 resurfacing of Gregory Street from Cottage Avenue to Adelaide Street.

WMBD-TV can be reached at [email protected].


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