Aug 10, 2022
Seven murder convictions linked to CPD Detective Reynaldo Guevara tossed Transcript
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx filed motions to clear more homicide convictions tied to notorious former CPD Det. Reynaldo Guevara. Read the transcript here.
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Irika Sargent: (00:09)
A monumental day for the Illinois justice system. Late this afternoon, Freddy Gonzalez walked out of prison a free man, a sentence he received after being framed by a disgraced Chicago police detective. Good evening, I’m Irika Sargent.
Joe Donlon: (00:22)
And I’m Joe Donlon. Gonzalez was one of seven people whose murder convictions were tossed out today because of detective Reynaldo Guevara’s misconduct. CBS2 political investigator Dana Kozlov is in the loop for us with more on this story and Cook County state’s attorney Kim Foxx’s decision to support this move. Dana?
Dana Kozlov: (00:43)
Yeah, Joe and Irika, from her office here in the loop this morning, the state’s attorney said she would not fight these exonerations. And she had some harsh words for the conduct of former detective Reynaldo Guevara and the suffering that he left behind.
Nelson Gonzales: (01:01)
I’m here today to, first of all, thank God.
Dana Kozlov: (01:06)
Nelson Gonzales spent 21 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. A judge vacated his murder conviction today, along with six other people who say they were framed by former Chicago police, detective Reynaldo Guevara.
Nelson Gonzales: (01:20)
This was a conspiracy created by Mr. Guevara and other agents.
Dana Kozlov: (01:26)
Cook County state’s attorney Kim Foxx also condemned Guevara’s actions after stating her office would not fight the mass exonerations.
Kim Foxx: (01:34)
Our decision today is not making a decision on actual innocence in these cases. Where we are is to say that we cannot stand behind these convictions and we cannot retry these cases based on the evidence that we have today.
Dana Kozlov: (01:47)
More than two dozen people convicted of murder since 1989 have come forward, claiming Guevara framed them. Most of those convictions have already been vacated. Foxx says she understands the pain it caused those wrongfully convicted, and the pain it causes the families of those murdered.
Kim Foxx: (02:03)
We got to this place because we had a corrupt police officer, a corrupt detective who chose to engage in this type of behavior. And his harm is not just to those who may have been imprisoned for crimes that they didn’t commit, but to families who are looking for justice for the loss of their loved ones.
Dana Kozlov: (02:20)
Wrongful conviction settlements tied to Guevara have already cost taxpayers at least $37 million, and Guevara has refused to talk about the cases in court.
Reynaldo Guevara : (02:34)
At the advice of my attorney, I assert my fifth amendment rights.
Dana Kozlov: (02:34)
The CBS investigators have been following Guevara misconduct allegations for years. Foxx says she has no explanation for his actions. She also wouldn’t say if any prosecutors or Guevara’s supervisors may be held accountable.
Kim Foxx: (02:48)
Any allegations of ethical misconduct or professional misconduct will certainly be a part of that review, but where we are today is simply looking at the convictions.
Dana Kozlov: (02:59)
An eighth case was continued in court today, but states attorney Foxx says she will not fight that exoneration either. I’m live in the loop, Dana Kozlov, CBS2 News. Irika?
Irika Sargent: (03:10)
Okay. Dana, thank you.