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Former Cop, Son Charged In Woman's Murder Near Dominican University

UPDATED 07/14/11 9:16 a.m.

RIVER FOREST, Ill. (CBS) -- A former police officer is charged with conspiring to kill his girlfriend, with his son and another man as accomplices, near the campus of Dominican University in River Forest.

Former North Chicago Police Officer Devin A. Bickham, 39; and his son, Devin Ardvell Bickham Jr., 20, both of the 12800 block of Division Street in Blue Island; and Cardell Taylor, 35, of 9400 block of South Lowe Avenue in Chicago, were charged four counts of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Chervon Alexander, 29.

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Bickham Jr. and Taylor confessed to a plot to kill Alexander, who police said was pressuring the older Bickham to divorce his wife and marry her instead.

River Forest police sources provided the following details of the shooting based on their interviews. The elder Bickham drove Alexander, of the 1300 block of North Mayfield Avenue, to the parking lot near the Dominican University campus at Division Street and Harlem Avenue in River Forest at about 10 p.m. Monday. He claimed he just wanted to talk.

While there, a second car, driven by Bickham's son pulled up. Cardell allegedly got out, walked over to Alexander's car and shot her three times -- in the head, chest and shoulder.

She was pronounced dead at 11:04 p.m. Monday at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.

Police said the elder Bickham was the first person to call 911 after the shooting, reportedly to cover his involvement.

Police officers responded at 10:22 p.m. to a report of shots fired at Priory Park in the 7200 block of Division Street. On arriving, a witness said a woman had been shot by a man who fled eastbound on Division in a gray vehicle.

The officer immediately broadcast the information, and four minutes later a Forest Park police unit observed a car matching that description southbound Harlem Avenue at Madison Street. The car was stopped by Forest Park and Oak Park units.

The car's occupants -- the younger Bickham and Cardell -- were taken into custody, and a .380 caliber handgun was recovered.

"Our residents immediately came forward with information, our detectives worked literally around the clock to establish the case, evidence techs from half a dozen neighboring communities processed three complex scenes, and assistant state's attorneys reviewed the work," River Forest police Chief Gregory Weiss said in a news release. "The incident is a genuine tragedy for the victim, the suspects and all their families, but I'm very proud that our Department and our resources could bring this case to a quick resolution."

In addition to his police work, the elder Bickham was also co-founder of the Chi-City Blitz, a semi-pro football team that plays in the Great Midwest Football League on Chicago's South Side.

The three men charged in the murder are to appear for a bond hearing Friday at the Maybrook Courthouse in Maywood.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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