McLean County loses appeal of legal fees in federal lawsuit filed by wrongfully convicted man

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BLOOMINGTON, Illinois — An Illinois appeals court has ruled that McLean County isn't entitled to be reimbursed $500,000 in legal fees spent defending itself in a federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed by Alan Beaman of Rockford, who served 13 years in the murder of Illinois State University student Jennifer Lockmiller before DNA evidence pointed to other suspects, and later was dismissed.

The (Bloomington) Pantagraph ( ) reports that the ruling issued Tuesday reverses a 2014 decision in the county's favor. It was sent back to McLean County court for further proceedings.

The county's insurance group argues that it's not liable for the legal fees because the personal injury claimed by Beaman in his lawsuit stemmed from his 1994 arrest and wrongful conviction in his former girlfriend's death.

The county claims the injury was covered in a 2008 policy.

Information from: The Pantagraph,

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