By Megan Dooley
The three suspects in the July murder of a Chicago woman in River Forest were indicted Thursday on first-degree murder charges. An arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 10 at the Maybrook courthouse in Maywood.
At the arraignment, Devin Bickham Sr., 39, and Devin 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 will be able to enter pleas to the murder charges.
River Forest Police Sgt. Michael Thornley said the purpose of the indictment was to determine whether or not there is probable cause to move forward with the charges.
"There's nothing new that's been presented," said Police Sgt. Marty Grill.
The charges stem from the July 11 shooting death of 29-year-old Chervon Alexander, of the 1300 block of North Mayfield in Chicago. Bickham Sr. allegedly conspired with his son, Bickham Jr., to hire Taylor to murder Alexander, Bickham Sr.'s mistress, for a total of $400.
The three men had no prior convictions, though Bickham Jr., a former police officer with the North Chicago Police Department, reportedly left that position amidst accusations of sexual misconduct, possibly with a minor, according to a source close to the department.
The murder occurred at approximately 10:22 p.m. in a parking lot near Priory Park, on the 7200 block of Division. At a July 15 bond hearing, which was also held at Maybrook Court, a prosecutor for the state's attorney's office claimed that Bickham Sr. had planned the murder-for-hire in an attempt to make a clean break from Alexander, whom he had allegedly promised to marry despite already being married to another woman.
The prosecutor said Bickham Sr. had allegedly used his son as a middle man in the murder scheme, and had paid Taylor $200 upfront with an agreement to pay the additional $200 after the murder was completed.
On the night of July 11, Bickham Sr. allegedly drove Alexander to the parking lot, a place they'd visited on prior occasions together, while Bickham Jr. and Taylor waited in another vehicle nearby. A short time later, Taylor approached Bickham Sr.'s vehicle, which sat in darkness in the parking lot due to a power outage, and opened fire on the passenger side window, where Alexander was sitting. The victim was struck with at least four bullets in the chest, mouth, and shoulders.
Taylor then allegedly fled the scene and returned to the waiting getaway vehicle driven by Bickham Jr. The elder Bickham quickly placed a 911 call, and when police arrived at the scene, provided an accurate description of his son and Taylor. Oak Park and Forest Park police located and arrested Bickham Jr. and Taylor minutes later, a short distance away. The alleged murder weapon was found in plain sight in the vehicle. Both the getaway vehicle and the gun were registered to Bickham Sr.
Alexander was taken to Loyola University Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead just after 11 p.m. The ensuing investigation involved several days of questioning of all three suspects. Bickham Sr., Bickham Jr. and Taylor were charged with first-degree murder charges three days after Alexander's death.