Man who spent 20 years in jail exonerated in case linked to disgraced Chicago detective

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A Cook County judge threw out murder charges against Thomas Sierra on Tuesday, a man whose case was linked to a disgraced retired Chicago detective. (WLS)

Illinois prosecutors have dropped murder charges against a 41-year-old who spent more than half of his life in custody amid continued scrutiny over the practices of a Chicago police detective in the case.

A Cook County judge threw out murder charges against Thomas Sierra on Tuesday, a man whose case was linked to a disgraced retired Chicago detective.

"I went in as a kid, 19 years old...the world's changed, I still get lost in certain places...it's a process," said Sierra.

Sierra was paroled in November after spending more than 20 years in prison for a 1995 gang related murder.

His lawyers successfully argued that Detective Reynaldo Guevara steered witnesses to name Sierra as the gunman.

At Sierra's trial, the now-retired Guevara denied any misconduct. He has more recently invoked the 5th Amendment when questioned.

Last month, murder charges against two men were dropped after prosecutors admitted Guevara beat confessions out of them.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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