Joel Brakken Feb. 18, 2014, 7:59am

The estate of a man who was murdered in 2009 is seeking payment on a judgment awarded to the man because he had been shot and beaten by Alorton police in 1999.

Larkin Holmon, as independent administrator of the estate of Taymond Freeman, deceased, filed a lawsuit Jan. 31 in St. Clair Circuit Court against the village of Alorton, citing breach of contract.

The complaint says on May 31, 1999, Freeman was staying in a room at the Princess Motel in Alorton, when police officers from Centreville and Alorton arrived at the scene. The complaint alleges that during the course of the evening, after police arrived, Freeman was shot and beaten by Alorton Police officer Thomas McGowan, sustaining mental and physical injuries. Freeman filed a complaint on May 18, 2000, against the village of Alorton, Thomas McGowan and other defendants.

The complaint states on March 23, 2005, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert P. LeChien entered a judgment in favor of Freeman against McGowan in the amount of $978,874.40 and found that McGowan's conduct had not been willful, a finding which made the village of Alorton liable to pay damages assessed by the court against McGowan.

The complaint also states that on May 7, 2005, the village of Alorton filed for bankruptcy protection under Title 9 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. As a large creditor to the village, Freeman rejected its plan of adjustment. According to the complaint, on Oct. 30, 2006, in an effort to have Freeman agree to the bankruptcy plan, the village entered into a contract to pay him $600,000 on his judgment in monthly installments of $2,500 for 20 years to begin on the 61st month following confirmation of the village's plan. The complaint states the plan was confirmed on Dec. 14, 2006, setting beginning date for payments to Freeman as January 2012. The complaint states that on March 12, 2009, Freeman was murdered. His estate is now claiming the village breached its contract when it did not make a payment until May 2012 and has currently only made 7 of 25 payments that have been due.

Freeman's estate is asking the court to make the contract between Freeman and the village void and enter judgment in favor of the estate in the full amount of $978,874.40, plus costs of $1,821.18 as well as costs and attorney's fees in the case amounting to $489,437.20.

The estate is being represented in the case by attorney George R. Ripplinger of Ripplinger & Zimmer LLC.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case no. 14-L-136.

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