Prosecutors: Friend offered $400 to kill ex-cop's girlfriend

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Prosecutors said this morning a former North Chicago police officer offered a friend $400 to kill the man's girlfriend.

Devin Bickham Sr. paid Cardell Taylor half the money upfront before the killing of Chervon Alexander Monday night in a parking lot near Dominican University in River Forest, prosecutors said this morning in a bond hearing in Maywood for Bickham, 39, his son Devin Arvdell Bickham, 20, and Taylor, 35.

When police pulled over Taylor and the younger Bickham in their car a short distance away  after the shooting, they overheard Taylor demand the remaining $200, Cook County Assistant State's Atty. Maureen O'Brien said.

In the end, a judge ordered all three men ordered held without bond in Alexander's killing. They each are charged with first-degree murder.

Investigators have said that late Monday night Bickham Sr. drove Alexander to a parking lot that was dark due to a power outage. The pair had stopped in several other locations that night and ended up there because they had been at the location before, O'Brien said.

When they arrived, Bickham Sr. sent a text message to his alleged accomplices, who parked about a block away, O'Brien said. 

Taylor then got out of the car and walked up to the older Bickham's car, O'Briend said. His gun jammed, she continued, but Taylor was able to unjam it "and opened fire, breaking glass."

Bickham Sr. then called police and pretended to be a witness to the shooting, the prosecutor said. Police have said they believe he was trying to distance himself from the shooting.

Bickham Jr. and Taylor fled the scene but were pulled over on Harlem Avenue near Madison Street. When stopped, police said a handgun, which they believe to be the murder weapon, was in plain view in the car.

Investigators believe Bickham Sr. had planned the killing for some time as a way to get out of his relationship with Alexander.

In court this morning, several unidentifed friends and relatives of Alexander sat quietly during the hearing before Judge William Wise. But as the hearing ended, several of them stood up and shouted profanities at the defendants and had to ushered out by court security officers. 

Speaking earlier this week, Alexander’s close friend and neighbor Tiheta Hinton said Alexander and Bickham Sr. started dating about eight months ago. Hinton often saw Bickham at Alexander’s home or picking her up in his car. 

“He just seemed like a normal guy,” said Hinton, whose husband is Alexander's mother's pastor. “They would go out and eat, and he would come over and watch television with the family, and that was pretty much the gist of it.”

Hinton said that Alexander was excited about the relationship and often gushed about Bickham’s personality and work as a truck driver.

“She would say that she really liked him and that he was really nice and seemed really stable,” Hinton said. “She wanted to spend the rest of her life with him.”

A couple of weeks ago, Hinton went over to Alexander’s home to visit with her family and Alexander told her that she and Bickham were planning to get married in August on her father's birthday; her father had died last year.

Alexander’s MySpace page lists her relationship status as "engaged."

abarnum@tribune.com

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