Beaman v. Freesmeyer, 4-16-0527.

CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois
Writing for the CourtJUSTICE KNECHT delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.
Citation82 N.E.3d 241,2017 IL App (4th) 160527
Parties Alan BEAMAN, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Tim FREESMEYER, Former Normal Police Detective; Dave Warner, Former Normal Police Detective; Frank Zayas, Former Normal Police Lieutenant; and the Town of Normal, Illinois, Defendants-Appellees.
Docket NumberNo. 4-16-0527.,4-16-0527.
Decision Date04 August 2017

2017 IL App (4th) 160527
82 N.E.3d 241

Alan BEAMAN, Plaintiff-Appellant,
Tim FREESMEYER, Former Normal Police Detective; Dave Warner, Former Normal Police Detective; Frank Zayas, Former Normal Police Lieutenant; and the Town of Normal, Illinois, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 4-16-0527.

Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District.

August 4, 2017

Locke E. Bowman III, of Roderick & Solanage MacArthur Justice Center, David M. Shapiro, of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, and Jeffrey Urdangen, of Bluhm Legal Clinic, all of Chicago, for appellant.

Lucy B. Bednarek and Thomas G. DiCianni, of Ancel, Glink, Diamond, Bush, DiCianni & Krafthefer, P.C., of Chicago, for appellee Tim Freesmeyer.

James I. Kaplan, Thomas J. McDonell, and John A. Aramanda, of Quarles & Brady LLP, of Chicago, for amicus curiae Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project of the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic of the University of Chicago Law School.


JUSTICE KNECHT delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

¶ 1 In 2008, the Illinois Supreme Court overturned plaintiff's conviction for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Jennifer Lockmiller, upon concluding the State violated his right to due process when it failed to disclose material and exculpatory information about an alternative suspect. People v. Beaman , 229 Ill. 2d 56, 321 Ill.Dec. 778, 890 N.E.2d 500 (2008). In April 2014, plaintiff initiated this action, alleging defendants, Tim Freesmeyer, Dave Warner, and Frank Zayas, former officers with the Normal police department, acted maliciously in investigating him and aiding in his prosecution. Against these individual defendants, plaintiff asserted claims of malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and conspiracy. Plaintiff requested damages from defendant, the Town of Normal, on theories of respondeat superior and indemnification.

¶ 2 In June 2016, the trial court, finding no genuine issue of material fact as to plaintiff's claims of malicious prosecution, granted defendants' motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff appeals, arguing, in part, a reasonable jury could find in his favor on each of the elements of his malicious-prosecution claim. We affirm.


¶ 4 A. Lockmiller's Murder and the Investigation

¶ 5 On August 28, 1993, the body of Jennifer Lockmiller, a 21-year-old student at Illinois State University, was found in her Normal, Illinois, apartment. Lockmiller's shirt was pulled up, exposing her breasts. Her shorts and underwear were down around one of her legs. The electrical cord of an alarm clock was around Lockmiller's throat. A pair of scissors protruded from her chest. A box fan had been placed over Lockmiller's face. Lockmiller died from ligature strangulation with the cord of the alarm clock. The investigators found no one who had seen Lockmiller alive after her class ended at 11:50 a.m. on August 25, 1993.

¶ 6 A number of police officers from the Normal police department were involved in the investigation. These officers included defendants Tim Freesmeyer, a detective; Dave Warner, a detective; and Frank Zayas, a lieutenant. Early in the investigation, starting in October or November 1993, Freesmeyer served as the principal detective on the investigation. Warner's role included serving as an evidence custodian and investigating one of the suspects, Stacey Gates. Zayas supervised the detectives who worked on the investigation until he retired in November 1994. Other individuals involved in the investigation included Charles Reynard, the McLean County

82 N.E.3d 244

State's Attorney, and James Souk, assistant State's Attorney (ASA). Souk acted as the lead prosecutor in plaintiff's criminal case.

¶ 7 As Lockmiller's apartment showed no sign of forced entry, the police focused the investigation on individuals Lockmiller knew. The police questioned Lockmiller's then-current boyfriend, Michael Swaine, as well as former boyfriends, including plaintiff, Stacey Gates, and Larbi John Murray. Swaine, who was once plaintiff's roommate, had an alibi. On August 25, 1993, the date Lockmiller was murdered, Swaine was working at a bookstore in Elmhurst, Illinois. Gates, who had moved to Peoria to be closer to Lockmiller, also had an alibi. Records from a Peoria school showed Gates was at work on August 25.

¶ 8 Through their investigation, police learned Murray was Lockmiller's drug dealer. The two had also been lovers. Murray was twice interviewed by police. Initially, Murray reported leaving town on August 24, 1993. Murray's girlfriend, Debbie Mackoway, however, told police they did not leave town until the afternoon of August 25. Murray then amended his story, and his version was consistent with Mackoway's report. Murray informed officers he was alone at home before 2 p.m. on August 25. Murray resided 1.5 miles from Lockmiller. Murray had a criminal history. He faced charges of drug possession with intent to deliver and of domestic violence for the abuse of Mackoway. According to Mackoway, Murray also began using steroids, which caused him to behave erratically. Both cocaine and steroids had been found in Murray's apartment. Murray agreed to submit a polygraph examination. At the start of the examination, Murray failed to follow instructions. The examiner terminated the examination.

¶ 9 The police focused their investigation on plaintiff. Plaintiff and Lockmiller began dating in July 1992. Their relationship was tumultuous. According to letters found in Lockmiller's apartment, plaintiff wanted their relationship to be monogamous, but he suspected Lockmiller saw other men. The two ended and rekindled their relationship multiple times over the following year. In that time, Lockmiller also became involved with Swaine, plaintiff's roommate.

¶ 10 At the time of Lockmiller's murder, plaintiff was residing with his parents in Rockford, Illinois. Rockford is approximately two hours from Normal by car. The State's theory of the case was that on August 25, plaintiff, after visiting a Rockford bank at 10:11 a.m., drove to Normal, killed Lockmiller at noon, and returned to Rockford, where his mother saw him in his room at 2:15 p.m. Freesmeyer, by performing a time trial, was able to establish plaintiff could have made the trip in the time allotted by driving over the speed limit the entire way. Freesmeyer, in another time trial, found it impossible for plaintiff to have made a 10:37 a.m. call from the residence he shared with his parents after having been at the bank at 10:11 a.m. In this time trial, however, Freesmeyer took the slower route and obeyed speed limits.

¶ 11 The investigation recovered seven fingerprints from the alarm clock. Two belonged to plaintiff, four to Swaine, and one remained unidentified.

¶ 12 During the investigation, investigators interviewed David Singley, Lockmiller's neighbor. Singley informed investigators he arrived home from class at 2 p.m. on August 25 and heard someone slam the door to Lockmiller's apartment. Singley stated he heard the stereo, the door open and close a second time, and footsteps. Singley also reported noticing, around 4:30 p.m., the stereo was off and the television had been turned on.

82 N.E.3d 245

¶ 13 On May 16, 1994, a meeting was held to determine whether to arrest plaintiff for Lockmiller's murder. Those in attendance included State's Attorney Reynard, ASA Souk, Freesmeyer, Zayas, Normal police chief James Taylor, and Detective Tony Daniels. During the meeting, Reynard decided to charge plaintiff. Souk agreed. At his deposition, Daniels testified he suggested a list of investigative avenues to pursue before arresting plaintiff. Souk responded, "I think we've got our guy" and stated, "we went as far as we can with this case." Souk stated they were going to go ahead and issue a warrant for plaintiff's arrest.

¶ 14 As of August 29, 1993, Souk had concluded plaintiff was the only suspect. He did not believe Murray had a motive to kill Lockmiller. While prosecuting plaintiff, Souk knew Murray provided Lockmiller with narcotics and marijuana and conflicting statements had been made about whether Lockmiller owed Murray money. Souk also knew Murray made a mistake regarding his alibi and corrected that mistake in a second interview. Souk did not find the mistake suspicious. At the time of the trial, Souk knew Murray began taking steroids in January 1994 and he had begun acting erratically. Before that time, Murray had not been physically violent toward Mackoway.

¶ 15 Before trial, the State filed a motion in limine to exclude evidence of Lockmiller's relationships with men other than plaintiff and Swaine. The trial court reserved ruling on the motion. Later, the State and plaintiff's defense counsel discussed Lockmiller's relationship with an individual identified as "John Doe," who was Murray. Souk told the court Doe had "nothing to do with the case." Souk had not disclosed to plaintiff's trial counsel Murray's criminal records, which exposed his drug and steroid use as well as the incidents of domestic violence, or the incomplete polygraph examination. Plaintiff's trial counsel had no specific evidence pointing to another individual who could have committed the offense. The trial court granted the motion in limine .

¶ 16 B. Plaintiff's Trial and Conviction

¶ 17 At trial, evidence established plaintiff, then a student at Illinois Wesleyan University, used Lockmiller's alarm clock to wake up for class. During the course of their relationship, plaintiff stayed the night at Lockmiller's up to four or five times a week.

¶ 18 Lockmiller's neighbor, Mike Singley, testified at trial. During the 1993 spring semester, Singley on multiple occasions heard plaintiff pounding on Lockmiller's door late at night. He also reported hearing plaintiff and Lockmiller yelling at each other.

¶ 19 Plaintiff testified, on an unspecified night that same spring, Lockmiller called him to end their relationship. Plaintiff went to Lockmiller's residence to retrieve his compact disc player....

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    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Illinois
    • 11 mai 2018
    ...claim, so the IIED claims against all defendants except Guevara are dismissed as derivative. See Beaman v. Freesmeyer , 415 Ill.Dec. 296, 82 N.E.3d 241, 255 (Ill. App. Ct. 2017) (affirming trial court's grant of summary judgment on IIED where that claim "was based and contingent upon his ma......
  • Beaman v. Freesmeyer
    • United States
    • Illinois Supreme Court
    • 7 février 2019 genuine issue of material fact as to Beaman's claims of malicious prosecution. The appellate court affirmed. 2017 IL App (4th) 160527, 415 Ill.Dec. 296, 82 N.E.3d 241. For the following reasons, we reverse and remand to the appellate court for further proceedings.¶ 3 I. BACKGROUND¶ 4 On ......
  • Beaman v. Freesmeyer
    • United States
    • Illinois Supreme Court
    • 29 juillet 2021
    ...for summary judgment on all claims, and the appellate court affirmed. Beaman v. Freesmeyer , 2017 IL App (4th) 160527, 415 Ill.Dec. 296, 82 N.E.3d 241. In February 2019, this court reversed the appellate court's judgment and remanded to that court for review of "whether the defendants’ cond......
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