CHICAGO (WLS) --Two men who have spent more than 20 years in prison are fighting for their freedom after they say were framed.
Gabriel Solache and Arturo Deleon-Reyes said their confessions in the 1997 double murder of a Chicago couple were coerced by a detective. Both were convicted of murder and kidnapping in 1998.
After spending 23 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit, Jose Montanez is supporting Solache and Deleon-Ryes, whom he believes were framed by the same man, Chicago Police Detective Reynaldo Guevara.
"I know what they're going through and you know, I want to be there for them," Montanez said.
Montanez was among a group of supporters hoping to see them walk out of prison on Tuesday, but instead, they are putting the celebration on hold after the state appealed.
"We are extremely disappointed. We're disappointed with the state's attorney's office for taking this route. We feel that we will prevail ultimately on the appeal, but it just means more time out of these guys' lives," said Karen Daniel, Center on Wrongful Convictions.
The court has already ruled Detective Guevara coerced confessions and framed a number of suspects who have since spent decades in prison. The families of many of those suspects have formed a group to support each other.
Rosendo and Juan Hernandez said they were framed by Detective Guevara for murder in 1997. Their mother is hopeful they will get their day in court soon.
"A lot of time has been gone by. Imagine all those years, the pain you go through," said Esther Hernandez.
Montanez has been free for less than a week now. He plans to be there for all the families of those wrongfully convicted, but he is still adjusting to freedom.
"I gotta take it little by little. I'm scared, I can't even drive right now because I'm looking at everything," Montanez said.
Those appeals could take months or even several years. Detective Guevara retired from the department in 2005.
He has declined to answer questions about the alleged coerced confessions in court.