CHAMPAIGN -- An Illinois man who spent more than 13 years in prison before his murder conviction was thrown out has been formally declared innocent in the slaying of a college student.
After a judge on Thursday agreed to his motion for a declaration of innocence, Alan Beaman calmly walked out of a Champaign courtroom and told reporters he was relieved.
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Beaman had been convicted of the 1993 murder of Illinois State University student Jennifer Lockmiller. He was serving a 50-year sentence when the Illinois Supreme Court in 2008 reversed the conviction.
DNA testing has pointed to two previously unknown potential suspects.
Beaman's innocence petition was one of about two dozen filed under a 2008 state law that allows people to ask a court for a finding of innocence in such circumstances.