Unjustly imprisoned man sues city and detectives for ‘false confession abuse’

Unjustly imprisoned man sues city and detectives for ‘false confession abuse’

A guy from Chicago who was exonerated after doing time for a murder he did not commit in 1991 is now suing the city and cops for framing him.

Daniel Rodriguez (pictured)  spent 17 years behind bars after he was convicted in the shooting death of Jose 'Junito' Hernandez, Jr. in 1991, after being framed by Chicago detectives.  In April, he was exonerated
Daniel Rodriguez was sentenced to seventeen years in prison for the murder of Jose “Junito” Hernandez, Jr.

On Monday, a civil claim was launched against the city of Chicago, Guevara, and other officers involved in the investigation. Unspecified monetary damages are sought.

Rodriguez has always maintained his innocence, stating that former Chicago Police Department Detective Reynaldo Guevara mistreated and coerced him into a ‘false confession.’

Every morning I awoke with the expectation that one day the cell door would open and they would apologize. He told the Chicago Sun-Times, “You are at liberty.” ‘But it never happened.’

Judge Sophia Atcherson of Cook County vacated Rodriquez’s conviction based on Guevara’s alleged misconduct. ABC7 News claimed that it would be the twenty-first time a case involving the disgraced officer was reversed.

The court issued Rodriguez a certificate of innocence in April of 2022, when he was let free.

Monday, with his family and attorneys by his side, he stated, ‘My family and my girls were deprived of a father. My then-girlfriend was deprived of a husband,’ he claimed. ‘She has stayed by my side for 33 years, during my captivity and until this day. She has kept me afloat.Disgraced former Chicago Police Detective Reynaldo Guevara. Rodriguez alleged that Guevara physically abused and threatened him into a 'false confession'

Daniel Rodriguez (left) spent 17 years in prison after being framed by Chicago cops and convicted of the 1991 murder of Jose ‘Junito’ Hernandez, Jr. In April, he was found not guilty.

Former Chicago police detective Reynaldo Guevara has been disgraced. Rodriguez claimed that Guevara physically tortured and intimidated him into making a ‘false confession.’

Rodriguez (left) and his family have filed a lawsuit against the city and the police responsible for his erroneous conviction.

According to Rodriguez’s attorneys, the city has already spent over $75 million in taxpayer funds on erroneous convictions caused by Guevara.

The city’s approach to these cases is a monumental leadership failure. There have been 34 overturned convictions involving Guevara, more than a half dozen court decisions finding Guevara participated in severe misconduct, and Guevara is pleading the Fifth to every inquiry on his misbehavior,’ Rodriguez’s attorney, Anand Swaminathan, told DailyMail.com.

‘Yet, instead of acknowledging the harm and attempting to resolve these matters early on, the City enriches private defense firms to the tune of tens of millions of dollars to defend the indefensible. Meanwhile, Guevara’s victims continue to suffer, and taxpayers wind up paying a disproportionate amount.’

Swaminathan stated that there are already more than a dozen lawsuits ongoing in federal court against Detective Guevara, his coworkers, and the city of Chicago, with many more pending.

“We have already litigated two cases through trial involving Detective Guevara, and those two cases resulted in substantial jury verdicts against Guevara, as well as two more settlements exceeding $10 million each following the conclusion of discovery,” he stated.Rodriguez (pictured) with his family is now suing the city and the detectives involved in his wrongful conviction

Guevara, a former member of a police force plagued by corruption, cover-ups, and brutality for decades, has never been charged with a crime.

A symbol of the guys intimidated and threatened by the notorious Chicago detective.

The convictions of David Colon, Johnny Flores, Nelson Gonzalez, Marilyn Mulero, Jaime Rios, Carlos Andino, and Alfredo Gonzalez were overturned. An eighth instance, Louis Robinson’s (left), is still waiting prior to additional judicial procedures.

Foxx (left) stated she will no longer oppose post-conviction litigation in the cases following a 2019 assessment of claims of police misconduct against the officer.

According to the news source, the city paid $20.5 million to Armando Serrano and Jose Montanez, who each served 23 years in prison after being framed by Guevara, last year.

Guevara refused to answer questions regarding his investigations for many years, asserting his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination at multiple hearings.

In August, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx overturned the murder convictions of seven inmates who had spent decades in jail owing to the conduct of former investigator Reynaldo Guevara between 1989 and 1996.

Foxx stated that she will no longer oppose post-conviction lawsuits in the cases following a 2019 assessment of claims of the police officer’s misbehavior.

Their convictions were overturned for David Colon, Johnny Flores, Nelson Gonzalez, Marilyn Mulero, Jaime Rios, Carlos Andino, and Alfredo Gonzalez.

Foxx stated, “We no longer trust in the legality of these convictions or the veracity of the evidence supporting these convictions.”

The seven dropped cases included murders committed between 1989 and 1994.A sign of the men who were intimated and threatened by the infamous Chicago detective

Andino and Alfredo Gonzalez have been released, but the other five defendants, Colon, Flores, Nelson Gonzalez, Mulero, and Rios, have already served their prison terms and are no longer in custody.

The Facebook message that was widely shared on the day Rodriguez was acquitted

Johnny Flores (right) and Daniel Rodriguez (left) meet each other at a restaurant in Schiller Park on August 9, 2022, to celebrate the overturning of seven murder convictions due to wrongdoing by former Chicago police Detective Reynaldo Guevara.

Guevara, a former member of a police force plagued by corruption, cover-ups, and brutality for decades, has never been charged with a crime.

Retired since 2005, he was apparently getting pensions from the city police and the Chicago Park District.

Foxx stated at the time that her office was examining possible charges against Guevara, noting, “We examined these situations with a careful lens to ensure that we got it right.”

She continued, “While we were focusing on the charges of misbehavior, we did not want to lose sight of the fact that lives were lost and the impact our judgment could have on the relatives of victims who believed justice had been served by these convictions.”Foxx (pictured) also said she will no longer oppose post-conviction litigation in the cases after a 2019 review related to allegations of the cop's police misconduct

Guevara assisted detainees in gaining their release by frequently asserting his right against self-incrimination or claiming he did not recall certain events, thereby compelling prosecutors to drop charges in multiple cases.

In one case, after prosecutors granted him immunity, he repeatedly stated that he did not recall the confessions he extracted from two individuals convicted of murder.

The judge deemed his statements to be “bald-faced lies” and dismissed the confessions.

Foxx asked, “Could we retry these cases without Detective Guevara’s assistance?” On the basis of our review, we cannot retry these instances.’

She noted that additional investigations could be performed “to determine if, in fact, another person was responsible for these offenses.”

In September 2012, the City Council of Chicago decided to pay $20,500,000 to two of at least a dozen men whose murder convictions were overturned owing to Guevara.

The claims were brought on behalf of Armando Serrano and Jose Montanez, who were released from jail in 2016 after serving 23 years.

Serrano alleged that Guevara, then-assistant state’s attorneys Matthew Coghlan and John Dillon, and a key witness colluded to frame Serrano for the 1993 murder of Rodrigo Vargas.

The allegations against him and co-defendant Jose Montanez were dropped in July 2016, resulting in their release from prison after more than two decades.

Serrano was falsely convicted of murdering Vargas in 1993 in Cook County, Illinois, and served 23 years in prison.

In the murder trial, Francisco Vicente was a crucial witness. When he allegedly told Guevara that Serrano and Montanez had confessed to him that they fatally shot Vargas in his vehicle in 1993, he was facing four felony charges.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Vicente recanted his account of the admissions in 2004 following many discussions with students from the Medill Innocent Project. According to him, Guevara fed him the story.

In 2009, a jury awarded $21 million to a guy who spent 11 years in prison before being acquitted because witnesses testified that Che Guevara intimidated them into falsely naming him as the murderer. Later, the municipality agreed to pay $16.4 million.

In 2018, another jury rewarded a man $17 million for making similar charges. Foxx stated that she would not minimize the effect of any case on the defendants.

During the trial, Jacques Rivera’s counsel claimed that Guevara pressured the sole witness in a 1988 murder, a 12-year-old kid, into identifying Rivera as the perpetrator. He was released from prison in 2011.

The primary counsel for Rivera, Jon Loevy, told the jury, “You cannot randomly fabricate identifications and sentence individuals to prison.” That’s not acceptable. This is as perilous as a bullet.

According to The Chicago Tribune, Loevy stated, in reference to the inquiry, that “the whole thing was filthy,” citing missing detective reports and “fabricated lineups” aimed to convict his client.

Rivera served 21 years in prison before being exonerated and freed in 2011.

Guevara, for his part, did what he has consistently done in previous instances: he refused to answer questions.

More than 200 times during his testimony in the Rivera lawsuit, Guevara invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

During closing arguments, Loevy stated, “This is a large case, an important case, and an astounding case.” “What we have witnessed in this courtroom is unprecedented.”

The seven prisoners released after decades behind bars

David Colon, age 26

David Colon, now known as David Lugo, served 26 years in prison for the Chicago murder of 16-year-old Michael Velez in 1991.

Colon, despite being shot numerous times, has always maintained his innocence.

He was granted parole in 2017 but acquitted on Friday.

David Colon, now known as David Lugo, served 26 years in prison for the Chicago murder of 16-year-old Michael Velez in 1991.

Nelson Gonzalez, age 22

Nelson Gonzalez, now 53 years old, was released in 2013 after serving 22 years in prison for a murder he claims he did not commit.

He alleged that Guevara and other cops conspired against him and demanded that he be charged.

He stated that he will be returning to school to study criminal justice.

53-year-old Nelson Gonzalez was released from jail in 2013 after serving 22 years.

He told the Chicago Sun, “I would love to become an attorney.” I am familiar with the journey, so I can speak from both perspectives.

So, this is what I’ll be concentrating on, along with my family, making sure my mother is okay, and continuing to serve the community.

“I will not give up just because I have been vindicated.”

Marilyn Mulero has spent 28 years, including five on death row.

Marilyn Mulero served 28 years in prison for a 1992 shooting that resulted in the deaths of two men.

Five of these years had been spent on death row.

She and two other ladies were accused of leading two gang members to a park where they were murdered.

Mulero was interviewed by Guevara and other officers, during which she claimed she was kept awake for twenty hours prior to writing a confession.

After her conviction was overturned, she told CBS, ‘I spent several years on Death Row for a crime I did not commit. I remained resolute. I retained my faith in God.’

Marilyn Mulero served 28 years in prison for a 1992 shooting that resulted in the deaths of two men.

Lauren Kaeseberg, co-director of the Innocence Project, stated: ‘Marilyn was only 21 years old when she was separated from her two young sons, tortured by a dishonest police investigator, then convicted and sentenced to death for a murder she did not commit.

The exoneration of Marilyn and these other innocent men is a brilliant example of endurance and a testament to the power of the human spirit, whereas former Det. Guevara is a real-life example of evil and horror.

Jaime Rios: 18 years

Jaime Rios was convicted of murdering Luis Morales in an alley in Chicago on June 27, 1989. The victim was shot and killed on that date.

He was arrested on charges of murder, but Guevara allegedly struck him in the head with a flashlight, as he claimed.

Rios also claims that another officer pressed his head on the table and threatened to take his little boy away if he did not confess.

He was incarcerated for 18 years before being released.

Carlos Andino: 28 years

Carlos Andino was arrested for murdering a Polish immigrant in 1994.

Three siblings, Kathy, 10, Kimberly, 11, and Christopher Smith, 14, were waiting for their mother to let them into their apartment when the incident began.

A thug approached a man who was using a payphone and demanded his pager and money.

Matt Dibicki, a Polish immigrant, refused and was shot dead at point-blank range.

Alfredo Gonzalez was serving a life term for a 1990 murder at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill.

The police allege Andino was identified as the murderer in an anonymous tip.

However, two of the Smith children said that the shooter had a teardrop tattoo beneath his eye, which Andino did not possess.

Nonetheless, he claimed to be the murderer.

Kathy later disclosed that Guevara had visited their home, shown them a photograph of himself, and identified himself as the murderer.

On August 18, 1994, Andino was detained and given to a lawyer who had represented Che Guevara in a variety of civil lawsuits.

Alfredo Gonzalez: 32 years

Alfredo Gonzalez was serving a life term for a 1990 murder at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill.

He was incarcerated for 32 of his 64 years and missed his daughter’s wedding.

Alfredo Gonzalez was serving a life term for a 1990 murder at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill.

Before his release, she told the Chicago Tribune, ‘We have waited a very long time.’

“My father was kidnapped from us when I was 3 and my brother was 7,”

We are almost prepared to drive over and pick him up.

Outside the prison, Gonzalez cried and embraced his daughter while proclaiming, “I’m free.” He said, ‘I had a broken heart because I was negligent.’

Johnny Flores: twenty

Johnny Flores was released from prison after twenty years because his conviction was overturned.

Even though a crucial witness at the time said he was high and drinking, he was convicted.

Following 20 years behind bars, Johnny Flores was released from prison after his conviction was overturned

 

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