Chervon Alexander

Editor’s note: This story will be updated during the day.


Following scathing comments in which she characterized Devin Bickham Sr. as being “as emotionless as a glass of ice water,” a circuit court judge on Thursday sentenced him to 95 years in prison for the 2011 ambush murder of his girlfriend, Austin resident Chervon Alexander.

Bickham will be required to serve 100 percent of the sentence.

On July 16, Judge Noreen Valeria Love sentenced Bickham’s son and murder accomplice, Devin Bickham Jr, to 50 years. He’s currently in reception at Stateville and will also serve the full sentence without parole, less three years and five days of time served in Cook County Jail awaiting trial.

“When we talk in this (criminal justice) business about people with a malignant heart, [Bickham Sr.] is the epitome of that,” Love said. “This is a monster. This is not a human being.”

Love made her sentencing ruling after an aggravation and mitigation hearing in which the prosecution and defense made arguments. The court also heard from Chervon’s mother, who read a prepared victim impact statement.

As part of the prosecution’s aggravation argument, James McKay, an assistant State’s Attorney, elicited testimony from a former Lake County police detective. In 2000, the detective investigated the senior Bickham’s alledged sexual misconduct with a 17-year-old girl in the back seat of his North Chicago squad car.

Bickham was fired from the department for that conduct, but not criminally charged.

The third man charged in the Alexander murder, Cardell Taylor, is expected to go on trial in September or October. Alexander, 29, was shot to death on the night of July 11, 2011 in a parking lot near the 7200 block of Division in River Forest. 

Bickham Sr. conspired with his son and Taylor to carry out the murder, paying Taylor $400 to kill Alexander, who lived on the 1300 block of North Mayfield in Austin. 

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