Family: Alorton must pay $1.4M judgment for dead man

News-DemocratFebruary 13, 2014 

AP GRAPHICS

The family of a man murdered in 2009 is trying to collect a $1.4 million judgment related to when the man was beaten and shot by an Alorton police officer 10 years prior to his death.

Taymond Freeman was staying at the Princess Motel in Alorton on May 31, 1999, when officers from Centreville and Alorton arrived at the motel. Police were searching for a car thief when Freeman, who was 21 at the time, stepped out of his room at the motel.

Alorton officer Thomas M. McGowan beat Freeman and shot him in the leg that night, according to court documents.

Freeman filed a lawsuit against the village of Alorton, McGowan and others in May 2000. In March 2005, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert LeChien ruled the shooting was unjustified and ordered the village pay Freeman about $979,000 in damages plus attorney fees.

The village of about 2,000 residents filed for bankruptcy in May 2005, and Freeman was the largest creditor.

As part of the bankruptcy, Freeman agreed to monthly payments of $2,500 from the village for 20 years -- totaling $600,000.

Freeman was killed on March 12, 2009, when he was 30, according to court documents. He was shot in the head and chest, according to records with the St. Clair County Coroner's Office.

Now Freeman's family alleges the village has only paid 7 of 25 payments that have come due, $17,500 of $62,500, according to a lawsuit filed Jan. 31 in St. Clair County. The family now seeks the full judgment of about $979,000 and attorney's fees of more than $489,000.

Alorton Mayor JoAnn Reed could not be reached for comment.

Freeman's father, Larkin Holmon of East St. Louis, said it was frustrating to still be fighting for the judgment about nine years later. Holmon said the family is still awaiting charges against those who killed Freeman at the intersection of 42nd Street and Tudor Avenue in Centreville in 2009.

Freeman's family is not the only one receiving payments from Alorton related to the judgment.

In 2007, Stacey Goodlow won a $346,400 judgment against Freeman because he allegedly beat her. The ruling included the cost of medical treatment and $300,000 in punitive damages because Freeman's actions were "intentional and malicious," according to court documents.

A court order allowed Goodlow's judgment to be collected directly from payments Alorton sent Freeman for his $600,000 judgment.

At the time of his death, Freeman faced aggravated domestic battery charge for allegedly breaking bones in Goodlow's eye socket in September 2006.

McGowan did not face criminal charges related to the shooting in 1999. Former St. Clair County State's Attorney Robert Haida said at the time prosecutors could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that McGowan was not justified in using force to apprehend Freeman.

Contact reporter Daniel Kelley at dkelley@bnd.com or 618-239-2501.

Contact reporter Daniel Kelley at dkelley@bnd.com or 618-239-2501.

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service