MAYWOOD (CBS) — A former North Chicago police officer offered to pay a man $400 — including $200 upfront — to kill his girlfriend, prosecutors alleged Friday.
During a court appearance, Cook County Judge William Weiss ordered Devin A. Bickham, 39, his 20-year-old son also named Devin Bickham, and Cardell Taylor, 35, held without bond.
Asst. State’s Atty. Maureen O’Brien said the elder Bickham worked through his son, with whom he lived in Blue Island, to hire Taylor, of Chicago, to kill 29-year-old Chervon Alexander of Chicago.
The three are all charged with murder.
And after the younger Bickham and Taylor were stopped by police after the shooting, Taylor said “I want the rest of [the] money now,” O’Brien said.
Authorities said the older Bickham, who has five children, wanted Alexander dead because she was pressuring him to leave his estranged wife and marry her instead.
“Apparently, he decided she was in the way,” River Forest Deputy Chief Craig Rutz said. “He wanted her out of his life.”
O’Brien said Bickham’s wife did not know he had been dating Alexander.
Trey Wilson, a cousin of Alexander, called her a kind-hearted person.
“Everyone liked her,” he said.
Both the younger Bickham and Taylor confessed to the plot to kill Alexander. Attorneys Friday said Taylor has been arrested 15 times but never convicted. His most serious charges include battery, theft and drugs.
The older Devin Bickham is a former North Chicago police officer 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.
River Forest police said the older Bickham drove Alexander, of the 1300 block of North Mayfield, to a parking lot in River Forest about 10 p.m. Monday, telling her it was so they could talk.
While there, a car driven by Bickham’s son pulled up and Taylor got out, walked over to Alexander and shot her three times — in the head, chest and shoulder, police said.
Police said the elder Bickham was the first person to call 911 after the shooting, reportedly to cover his involvement.
When police arrived at the scene, a witness said a woman had been shot by a man who fled eastbound on Division in a gray vehicle. The car was spotted minutes later by Forest Park police and pulled over.
The men inside — the younger Bickham and Taylor — were taken into custody, and a .380-caliber handgun was recovered, police said.
Court records show the older Bickham, who until recently delivered furniture with a leased 26-foot cargo truck, was under heavy financial pressure in the months prior to the murder of Alexander.
Three days before Alexander was killed, Bickham’s company, Bick Express, Inc., which he incorporated in February 2007, was involuntarily dissolved by the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.
He filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy for the second time in a year on March 17. Bickham’s first filing was dismissed on March 15, after he reportedly failed to make required payments of $1,600 per month.
In the March 17 filing, which was approved June 27, he listed liabilities totaling $76,544, including $6,666 owed the IRS and $36,292 in unsecured debt. He declared personal property consisting of the two cars, valued at $31,100, on which he owes $33,580.
He listed current monthly income of $2,714, with no cash on hand, $10 in two checking accounts and an expected $1,058 refund on 2010 income taxes.
He refers to his “ex-wife” and his marital status as “separated.” She is listed as both a creditor and co-debtor in bankruptcy documents.
Bickham is also a defendant in a five-year court case regarding ownership of a house on the 8000 block of South Sacramento in Chicago. In his bankruptcy filings, Bickham says of the property, “Title was transferred in a loan modification scam.”
The North Chicago police department said the older Bickham worked for the department more than a decade ago and only for a short time.