Prosecutors have charged Devin Bickham with the murder of Chervon Alexander.

Chervon Alexander, 29, loved her boyfriend, Devin Bickham, and reportedly wanted to marry him within a few weeks. Alexander, a recent college graduate, was seeking a job in law enforcement.

Bickham, 39, a former police officer, was already married and prosecutors charge that Bickham and his son paid a hit man $400 to kill her last week because Alexander was pressuring him about their wedding.

The official statement from the River Forest Police Department stated:

“On Thursday, July 14, River Forest detectives filed charges including first-degree murder against three men in the shooting death of 29-year-old Chervon Monique Alexander of the 1300 block of Mayfield in Chicago. Alexander was shot to death Monday night (July 11) at approximately 10:22 p.m. while she was sitting in a car parked in the 7200 block of Division Street.

The three men charged in this case include 39-year-old Devin A. Bickham Sr. and 20-year-old Devin Ardvell Bickham Jr., both of the 12800 block of Division in Blue Island, and 35-year-old Cardell Taylor of the 9400 block of South Lowe in Chicago.”

In this day and age when marriage is avoided like the plague, Alexander wanted to walk that aisle, recite those vows and go forth in her life as a married woman with Bickham at her side. Alexander had her reasons for assuming that Bickham would make a good husband.

She did not deserve to be ambushed and shot to death.

This is perhaps one of the most heartbreaking and harrowing murder cases I’ve seen because Alexander could have been any sister looking for love who, instead, met foul play.

Her plight could have just as easily been mine or my sisters’ or girlfriends because it’s just so damn easy to be misled when you’re in love.

A woman thinks that she knows all there is to know about “her man,” but it just isn’t true, no matter how many relationship books she reads or messages she covertly checks or conversations she has with him. She just doesn’t know what’s on his mind or in his heart.

When it comes to protecting yourself, the best that a woman can do is observe.

We can observe who he associates with, we can observe how he behaves around different sets of people, we can observe what he wears when he’s “hanging with the boys.” We can observe how he treats his mother, his aunt or other significant women in his existence.

We can observe how he treats his children. We can observe his spiritual core, or lack thereof.

We can observe how he responds to our needs.

We can observe what he says he’ll do and weigh that against what he actually does.

We can take stock in what our eyes, ears and gut tells us: Is he husband material? Or, is he married and dating? Does he respect human life? Or does he brag about how quickly he can snuff a n*gga out? Does he want relationship stability? Or, does he seek a sidepiece at his beck and call? Does he appreciate women? Or are we all b—— and hos?

We should observe our potential mate for as long as it takes. There’s no rush when it comes to determining if he’s the one.

When you take the time to observe a man, you are likely to find the answers you seek.

If he has a history of violence, if he’s in-between marriages, if he’s a deadbeat, and, if he’s not willing to enter into a serious relationship — and that is what you want — then the observation period should end. Now is the time for you to take action, and move on.

zondra hughes

Deputy Editor, Rolling Out