Ex-cop allegedly offered $400 to kill mistress

Judge denies bond for three suspected of planning murder

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By Megan Dooley

Staff Reporter

A former police officer offered to pay a friend $400 to kill his mistress, Cook County prosecutors alleged Friday morning at a bond hearing for the three men suspected of planning and carrying out the execution-style shooting of 29-year-old Chervon Alexander, of Chicago.

Judge William Wise denied bond for Devin A. Bickham Sr., 39, and his son Devin A Bickham Jr., 20, both of the 12800 block of Division in Blue Island, and Cardell Taylor, 35, of the 9400 block of South Lowe in Chicago. All three men are charged with first-degree murder.

Bickham Sr. is a former police officer for the North Chicago Police Department. He reportedly left the department after being accused of sexual misconduct, possibly with a minor. He was never charged for that alleged offense. Bickham Sr. is also the father of five children.

At their July 15 bond hearing at the 4th District Court in Maywood, all three defendants stood silent before Judge Wise as a prosecutor from the state attorney's office read through the details of the crime.

Several family members of the defendants and the victim were allowed into the room, while large crowds of people waited outside the doors to hear the results. One woman sobbed silently throughout the hearing.

According to the prosecutor, Bickham Sr., who was married to another woman, made plans to marry Alexander in August. Under mounting pressure, Bickham decided he "needed a clean break from [Alexander]," the prosecutor stated, and used his son as a middle man to hire Taylor to murder her.

Bickham Sr. allegedly agreed to pay Taylor $400 for the murder, $200 of which was paid up front. The additional $200 was slated to be exchanged after the murder had been committed, according to the prosecutor

The murder occurred at approximately 10:22 p.m. on Monday night, after Bickham Sr. drove the victim in his 2005 Buick to a parking lot next to Priory Park, in the 7200 block of Division Street in River Forest. Due to an electrical blackout, the lights in the parking lot were not working, and the area was dark.

Bickham's son and Taylor allegedly pulled up to the corner of Bonnie Brae and Division Street and parked the silver Chevrolet Impala that Bickham Jr. was driving. The car was owned by Bickham Sr.

Taylor then allegedly exited the vehicle, walked across the street to the parking lot where Bickham Sr. and Alexander sat in his car, approached the passenger side of the vehicle and opened fire on Alexander with a .38-caliber semiautomatic weapon, which was later discovered to be registered to Bickham Sr.

Taylor allegedly fired at least four rounds into the victim, hitting her in the mouth, chest and shoulders, and then fled the scene, returning to the getaway car where Bickham's son was waiting.

According to the prosecutor, Bickham Sr. then called 911 to report the shooting, and when officers arrived, provided an accurate description of Taylor and the getaway vehicle. After Bickham Jr. and Taylor were apprehended minutes later, police found the gun in plain sight between the two men inside the car. Bickham Sr. denied ever having seen the car or gun before.

According to the prosecutor, upon his arrest, Bickham's son claimed that someone had thrown the gun into the car through an open window while he drove through the intersection at Harlem and Division.

Taylor then reportedly stated: "I want the rest of my money now."

According to the prosecutor, Bickham Jr. and Taylor both later confessed to their roles in the murder. Taylor confessed to being the shooter and admitted that the gun jammed a number of times during the shooting. The prosecutor said that both confessions were captured on video.

Bickham Sr. reportedly admitted to communicating with his son via cellphone in the minutes prior to the attack, telling his son where he and Alexander were going. Bickham Sr. denied having any role in the murder.

The three defendants do not have any prior convictions. Bickham Sr. has two prior arrests, including one arrest in 1993 for battery. Taylor has 15 prior arrests for a range of crimes, including theft and battery. Bickham Jr. had never been arrested.

As the men were being led out of the room, a woman screamed out, "Devin, I hope you rot in hell ...you son of a bitch."

The woman continued to cry hysterically and had to be escorted out of the courtroom by court officers. Family members of the defendants were held back for several moments after the woman exited before they were allowed to leave the courtroom.

Reader Comments

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Posted: July 17th, 2011 4:03 PM

This is so sad. My heart goes out to all of the families involved. It is so perplexing for me trying to understand what makes a person end up like this. I grew up with an went to school with the shooter (Cardell) and I can't beleive he did this.

Violet Aura  

Posted: July 16th, 2011 6:31 PM

@Epic: Got. Grandeur. (delusions)? Are you a psychiatrist or do you just play one on the Internets? I said nothing bigoted in my comments about this woman, so perhaps your name should be changed to EPIC FAIL.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: July 16th, 2011 11:08 AM

Sad, tragic, horrible. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of all those involved.

Comments are us  

Posted: July 16th, 2011 10:23 AM

epic and violet sitting in a tree.....


Posted: July 16th, 2011 9:03 AM

I co-sign "epic lulz" comment. Also, let's not forget that a young woman lost her life tragically and senselessly. There has been too much emphasis on politics and how this upsets the daily life River Forest residents, and too little on the life lost. If one of RF's own women were killed, the emphasis would be much different. Look inward.

epic lulz  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 7:39 PM

It's obvious why Violent Aura is fixated on the fact that a hitman can be hired for a mere $200 down. Given the personality disorders and bigotries she exhibits online, she certainly has made plenty of enemies IRL. Take a time out, lady. There's no reason for your goofy blather to fill half this thread.

Violet Aura  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 6:32 PM

@Rudechick: I was wondering about the son, as well. Did his father corrupt him? It's sad when that's your role model of a man. And Irishman is right: I read that part about the hitman stating he wanted the rest of his money. I couldn't believe that he said that in front of the cop! Perhaps he was mentally disabled or something because anyone with an IQ over room temp should know better than to make a statement like that but thank God he did and proved their involvement.

Violet Aura  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 6:29 PM

@Fed Up: If you are so "fed up," then why not read a book or something?! My goodness, no one forces anyone (including victims' family) to read comments online. Everyone should be sufficiently warned that there are some crass and heartless things said to be funny or to shock. You could move to North Korea--perhaps you'd be in total bliss with complete control. YOU control YOU.


Posted: July 15th, 2011 3:37 PM

this is a very sickening story n to know devin jr was actually a friend of my friend n he agreed 2 doin dis wit his dad is very crazy n makes me wonder bout him.this is a true story of u never can kno a person jus by lookin at em. and for his dad 2 bring his son into it is just nuts..does he care bought someone he raised?? and he still was denyin have any role in da murder but was so quick 2 give up his friend and SON smh...i pray for his dad n his SON n the victims family

Fed Up w/ Idiot Comments  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 2:59 PM

Here we go again. A woman's life has been lost, and all we have are the usual crowd posting their racist and other typically disrespectful idiotic comments. WJ, you should consider doing what the Tribune does when they post an article like this - they just close down the comments section to spare the family and themselves from having to deal with the morons.


Posted: July 15th, 2011 2:27 PM

What a sad episode. Jay Leno occasionally does a bit on the Tonight Show about "stupid criminals". These guys certainly qualify: giving accurate description of the shooter and the car, denying ever seeing car even though he owned it, demand of "I want the rest of my money now."

Violet Aura  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 2:19 PM

Oy vey...Why does it always go back to some political issue? Hey, I am no fan of the result of the Great Society, but who's to say that this dude was a product of that? He became a cop, which isn't the easiest thing to do, and apparently co-founded some semi-pro league. It's scary that there are people this lacking in basic humanity to kill for money.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 2:15 PM

Violet, you can't figure out the mentality of these idiots, so don't frustrate yourself by trying. It's things like this that put me back on the capital punishment bandwagon. If abortion is OK, why not execution? Society needs to be rid of vermin like this, not necessarily as a deterent, but simply as punishment and protection from the rest of us. The dad is likely a product of the failed 1960's Great Society, and the deliberate destruction of the black family by the Democratic Party.

Violet Aura  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 2:11 PM

OP Chick From OP: Dig the redundancy, Einstein...

Hank Marquardt  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 2:11 PM

The more that comes out about this story, the sadder it gets. Seems to reach a new level of sad and even definition of sad with every update.

Violet Aura  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 2:10 PM

@OP Broad: Really? "Hilarious?" I was going to clarify that remark because I knew someone would jump all over it. There is NO amount of money that symbolizes the value of someone's life, nor is it ever anything but sheer evil to kill someone for any amount of money, but I am just astounded at how low someone will stoop for such little compensation was my point. And the fact that this was a former police officer is that much more disturbing. But of course, he was kicked off the force.

Oak Park Chick from OP  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 1:53 PM

"for so low a sum" most hilarious comment ever made, ever.

Violet Aura  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 1:49 PM

$400. That was what this "man" offered to snuff the life out of a woman. Absolutely sickening. And the fact that there was someone willing to do such an evil act for so low a sum, the fact that the son didn't object to his "father's" satanic deeds, is also horrific. I just cannot wrap my brain around the mentality of those who think they can do such things and enjoy their lives afterwards. It's insane.

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