The three suspects in the July shooting death of an Austin woman in suburban River Forest were indicted Aug. 4 on first-degree murder charges.
Devin Bickham Sr., 39, and Devin Bickham Jr., 20, both of the 12800 block of Division in Blue Island, and Cardell Taylor, 35, of the 9400 block of South Lowe are under indictment. Their arraignment was scheduled for Aug. 10 at the Maybrook courthouse in Maywood.
Chervon Alexander, 29, was shot to death on the night of July 11 in a parking lot near the 7200 block of Division Street in River Forest.
Bickham Sr. allegedly conspired with his son, Bickham Jr., to hire Taylor to murder Alexander for a total of $400. Alexander, who lived on the 1300 block of North Mayfield, was Bickham Sr.’s mistress. The three men had no prior convictions, though Bickham Jr., a former Chicago police officer, reportedly left that position amidst accusations of sexual misconduct, possibly with a minor, according to a source close to the department.
His current charges stem from the July 11 shooting death of Alexander.
River Forest Police Sgt. Michael Thornley said the purpose of the indictment was to determine whether or not there is probable cause to move forward with the charges. At a July 15 bond hearing, also taking place in Maywood, a prosecutor for the state’s attorney’s office claimed that Bickham Sr. had planned the murder-for-hire scheme to make a clean break from Alexander-he allegedly promised to marry her despite already having a wife.
The prosecutor said Bickham Sr. had allegedly used his son as a middle man, and had paid Taylor $200 upfront with an agreement to pay the additional $200 after the murder was completed.
On the night of July 11, Bickham Sr. allegedly drove Alexander to the parking lot-a place they’d visited on prior occasions together-while Bickham Jr. and Taylor waited in another vehicle nearby. A short time later, Taylor approached Bickham Sr.’s vehicle, which sat in darkness in the parking lot due to a power outage, and opened fire on the passenger side window where Alexander was sitting. She was struck with at least four bullets in the chest, mouth, and shoulders.
Taylor then allegedly fled the scene and returned to the waiting getaway vehicle driven by Bickham Jr.
The elder Bickham quickly called 911. When police arrived at the scene, he provided an accurate description of his son and Taylor. Oak Park and Forest Park police located and arrested Bickham Jr. and Taylor minutes later; they were only a short distance away. The alleged murder weapon was found in plain sight in the vehicle. Both the getaway vehicle and the gun were registered to Bickham Sr.
Alexander was pronounced dead at a Chicago hospital later that night.
Bickham Sr., Bickham Jr. and Taylor were charged with first-degree murder three days after Alexander’s death.