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Ex-North Chicago cop charged with girlfriend’s murder

DevA. Bickham

Devin A. Bickham

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Updated: July 15, 2011 2:33AM

A former North Chicago cop allegedly conspired to kill his girlfriend in a River Forest parking lot Monday night, authorities said.

Devin A. Bickham, 39, of Blue Island; his son, also named Devin Ardvell Bickham, 20, also of Blue Island; and Cardell Taylor, 35, of Chicago, were charged Thursday with four counts of first-degree murder in the shooting death of 29-year-old Chervon Alexander of Chicago. A bond hearing was scheduled for today.

River Forest Police Sgt. Mike Thornley said the charges included murder in exchange for money.

“They center around the fact that this was a cold, calculating act,” he explained.

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

“Apparently, he (the older Bickham) decided she was in the way,” said River Forest Deputy Chief Craig Rutz. “He wanted her out of his life.”

The older Devin Bickham was a police officer with the North Chicago Police Department and co-founder of the Chi-City Blitz, a semi-pro football team that plays in the Great Midwest Football League on the South Side.

A North Chicago police spokesman said he was on the force more than 10 years ago and was only with the department for a short time.

Police in the southwest suburb provided the following details of the shooting:

The older Bickham drove Alexander to the parking lot near Division Street and Harlem Avenue in River Forest at about 10 p.m. Monday with the given intention of talking.

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.

Police said the elder Bickham was the first person to call 9-1-1 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. 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 at Madison. 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.

Thornley said the nearly 60-hour time period between the arrest and charging of the three men stemmed from the magnitude of the crime, which led investigators to be exceptionally thorough.

“There was a lot of gathering of evidence and writing of search warrants,” Thornley said.

An extensive autopsy is under way, according to police.

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