People v. Beaman

Decision Date03 November 2006
Docket NumberNo. 4-05-0610.,4-05-0610.
Citation306 Ill.Dec. 633,858 N.E.2d 78
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Alan BEAMAN, Defendant-Appellant.
CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois

Justice McCULLOUGH delivered the opinion of the court:

After a jury trial, defendant, Alan Beaman, was convicted of the first-degree murder of his ex-girlfriend, Jennifer Lockmiller. Defendant was sentenced to 50 years' imprisonment in the Illinois Department of Corrections. On appeal, this court affirmed defendant's conviction. People v. Beaman, No. 4-95-0396, 279 Ill.App.3d 1115, 233 Ill.Dec. 723, 701 N.E.2d 573, (May 23, 1996) (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23). On April 2, 1997, defendant filed a petition for post-conviction relief. In its final form, defendant's second verified amended petition for postconviction relief and supplement to the second amended petition were presented before the trial court through an evidentiary hearing. On June 14, 2005, the trial court issued a 31-page order denying defendant's request for postconviction relief. Defendant appeals the third-stage dismissal of his petition. We affirm.

It is undisputed by the parties, the trial court, and this court that the case against defendant was entirely circumstantial, and as such, depended upon a large body of facts. These facts are well known by all parties and have been extensively recounted by this court in its Rule 23 order affirming defendant's conviction. Therefore, only those facts necessary for a complete understanding of the issues before this court appear below.

After his conviction was affirmed by this court, defendant filed for postconviction relief, arguing (1) new evidence demonstrates that defendant could not have been in Bloomington/Normal on the day of the murder; (2) postconviction evidence establishes there was a viable murder suspect other than defendant of whom the jury was unaware, and the State committed a Brady violation (see Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963)) when it failed to disclose evidence supporting John Doe's viability as a suspect; (3) the State exploited Detective Freesmeyer's false and misleading testimony that 31 minutes were required to drive from the bank to the Beaman residence; (4) the State failed to disclose the fact that Freesmeyer drove from the bank to the Beaman home in 25 minutes; (5) defendant's attorney was ineffective for failing to independently investigate the drive time from the bank to the Beaman home, for failing to elicit evidence regarding Freesmeyer's 25-minute time trial, and for failing to discover and present the information regarding John Doe; and (6) he is actually innocent of Lockmiller's murder.

On August 28, 1993, Lockmiller's body was discovered in her apartment near Illinois State University. Based on autopsy results and Lockmiller's last known whereabouts, the State theorized she was murdered on Wednesday, August 25, 1993, at or shortly after noon. The police investigation quickly centered around defendant, and the State built its case against him relying upon his motive and opportunity to murder his ex-girlfriend.

According to the State's motive theory, defendant was obsessed with Lockmiller. Lockmiller pursued a relationship with defendant's roommate, and then she and defendant had a bitter break up. However, a phone call from Lockmiller to defendant rekindled his hopes the two would reconcile. Defendant drove to Normal, Illinois, to surprise Lockmiller. However, upon entering her apartment, defendant saw his roommate's belongings, and he snapped, killing Lockmiller on the spot.

The State's opportunity theory is defendant left work on Wednesday morning, drove to his Rockford home to take a shower, and then went to the bank to make a deposit. A security videotape shows defendant leaving the bank at 10:11 a.m. Defendant then drove 124 miles to Normal, averaging 75 miles per hour, to surprise Lockmiller when she returned home from class to watch her favorite noon-hour soap opera. He had not yet formed his intent to kill his ex-girlfriend. Once he and Lockmiller entered her apartment, something went wrong, and defendant snapped. He strangled Lockmiller with the cord from a clock-radio and then stabbed her multiple times with a pair of scissors. Defendant then arranged Lockmiller's clothes in such a way as to suggest she had been raped. After no more than 15 minutes, by 12:15 p.m., defendant left Lockmiller's apartment and drove back to his home in Rockford, averaging 75 miles per hour, to ensure he was home in bed by 2:10 p.m., five minutes before his mother got home.

Evidence was presented at trial that two phone calls were made from the Beaman residence on the morning of Wednesday, August 25, 1993, one at 10:37 a.m. and one at 10:39 a.m. The first call was made to the Beamans' church and was two minutes in duration. The second call was made to defendant's youth pastor's home and lasted one minute.

Evidence was presented at trial and the postconviction evidentiary hearing that defendant's mother, Carol Beaman, picked up her elderly mother from Independence Village, an assisted-living facility, early on August 25, 1993, for a doctor's appointment. After the appointment, the two stopped for breakfast before returning to Independence Village. Check-in records show Carol checked her mother back into the facility at 10 a.m. At trial, Carol testified she would have remained with her mother no more than 15 to 20 minutes after her check-in time. Sometime after trial, Carol realized her mother's appointment fell on a Wednesday, and it was Carol's routine to prepare her mother's medication for the upcoming week on Wednesdays. As such, at the post-conviction evidentiary hearing, Carol testified she spent 20 to 30 minutes with her mother that morning after checking her in, possibly longer if her mother's roommate had been present.

At trial, evidence was presented that Carol paid for a purchase at a Wal-Mart store located across the street from Independence Village at 11:10 a.m. The receipt indicated she had purchased copy paper, poster frames, magazine holders, and blue jeans. She testified she went to Wal-Mart immediately after leaving her mother and did not go home to make two telephone calls. After leaving Wal-Mart, Carol testified she then may have gone to K mart before proceeding to Union Hall, where she made a purchase and received a receipt time-stamped at 12:39 p.m. Carol then proceeded to Gray's IGA store, where she purchased perishable food items and received a receipt time-stamped at 2:03 p.m. She then testified she went straight home and arrived around 2:15 p.m. She testified when she arrived home, defendant's car was on the paved apron next to the driveway. When she entered the home, she noticed the piece of Plexiglas the family used to keep their dogs confined to the kitchen had been moved, and defendant's dog was asleep by his bedroom door, as was the dog's custom when defendant was in his bedroom. Carol saw her son that evening when he awoke for dinner.

The State's theory is Carol dropped her mother off at Independence Village and then drove home to either use the restroom or let the dogs out before returning to complete her shopping trip at Wal-Mart. At the postconviction evidentiary hearing, Detective Timothy Freesmeyer testified this drive would have taken Carol approximately 15 minutes. While at home, she returned a phone call made from the church to her home at 10:22 a.m. She first tried the church office and then attempted to call the youth pastor at his home. Carol then left her home and traveled back to the Wal-Mart located across the street from Independence Village.

The defense argued Carol did not and could not have made the two telephone calls on August 25, 1993. First, she testified she did not go home after dropping her mother off, and she did not make the two telephone calls. Second, an investigator for the defense, hired for post-conviction proceedings, testified his timed trials of the route Carol would have taken from Independence Village to her home illustrated it would have taken her between 19 and 20 minutes to arrive home. This would not have allowed her enough time to leave her mother between 10:20 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and travel home to make the two telephone calls at 10:37 a.m. and 10:39 a.m. Further, the defense argues the postconviction evidence shows Carol would not have had enough time to return to Wal-Mart, shop for her purchases, and then check out by 11:10 a.m. In addition, the defense presented postconviction testimony from Pastor Mitchell Olson, defendant's then youth pastor. He testified defendant was scheduled to perform at the August 29, 1993, Sunday morning church service, and as was his usual practice, he would have telephoned defendant on Wednesday, August 25, 1993, to confirm rehearsal with him that evening. Although Olson did not specifically remember making the call, telephone records show a telephone call was placed from the church to the Beaman residence at 10:22 a.m. Olson testified he would have left a message, and defendant would have returned the call to the church or would have tried to reach Olson at his home. Olson further testified he did not remember Carol ever calling him at church or his home prior to the date in question. Olson did remember calling the Beaman residence again at 3 p.m. that day, and he spoke with Carol and confirmed defendant's rehearsal that evening, which took place as planned.

In light of the above evidence, defendant argues only he could have made the two telephone calls, a contention with which the State takes sharp issue. At trial, the State presented drive-time evidence demonstrating defendant could not have driven from the bank at 10:11 a.m. to his home in time to make the two phone calls at 10:37 a.m. and 10:39 a.m. Freesmeyer...

To continue reading

Request your trial
6 cases
  • Beaman v. Freesmeyer
    • United States
    • Illinois Supreme Court
    • February 7, 2019
    ...the hearing, the circuit court denied Beaman's postconviction petition. The appellate court affirmed. People v. Beaman , 368 Ill. App. 3d 759, 306 Ill.Dec. 633, 858 N.E.2d 78 (2006).¶ 12 In 2008, this court found the State violated Beaman's constitutional right to due process of law when it......
  • Beaman v. Freesmeyer
    • United States
    • Illinois Supreme Court
    • July 29, 2021
    ...the circuit court denied Beaman's petition. The appellate court affirmed, with one justice dissenting. People v. Beaman , 368 Ill. App. 3d 759, 772, 306 Ill.Dec. 633, 858 N.E.2d 78 (2006).¶ 58 In May 2008, this court found that Beaman's murder trial was unconstitutionally tainted in violati......
  • People v. Beaman
    • United States
    • Illinois Supreme Court
    • May 22, 2008
    ...McLean County dismissed the petition following an evidentiary hearing, and the appellate court affirmed the dismissal. 368 Ill.App.3d 759, 306 Ill.Dec. 633, 858 N.E.2d 78. We allowed petitioner's petition for leave to appeal. 210 Ill.2d R. On appeal to this court, petitioner asserts several......
  • Beaman v. Freesmeyer
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • December 17, 2019
    ...plaintiff postconviction relief. This court, with Justice Cook dissenting, affirmed the denial. People v. Beaman , 368 Ill. App. 3d 759, 772, 306 Ill.Dec. 633, 858 N.E.2d 78, 91 (2006).¶ 47 In 2008, the Supreme Court of Illinois found the State violated plaintiff's constitutional right to d......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT