'This is just the beginning': 8 murder convictions tied to ex-Chicago police detective thrown out

Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx filed to vacate 8 murder convictions tied to former Chicago Police Department Detective Reynaldo Guevara.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A crowd left Leighton Criminal Courthouse with high emotions both high and low.

"I had to stay strong because I had two toddlers when I was incarcerated I had to fight for them I had to be strong and here I am," said Marilyn Mulero.

Mulero was among eight people who had their murder convictions vacated Tuesday. She was given clemency in 2020, but Tuesday, the Cook County state's attorney asked for her case and the cases of seven others to be dismissed.

Each case is connected to disgraced former Chicago Police Detective Reynaldo Guevara.

"We cannot lose sight of the trauma and destruction that cannot be quantified. It really cannot," said Bonjean Law Group Attorney Jennifer Bonjean.

SEE ALSO | Judge overturns conviction of 2 brothers framed for murder by former Chicago police detective

So far, dozens of Guevara cases have been thrown out, including Jose Cruz's, who was released last month after nearly 30 years in prison for a wrongful conviction.

"Righting these wrongs is a method of policing. It is telling people who live in those neighborhoods to know that this behavior has occurred, that we hear them, that we don't stand for it, we will correct it," said Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx. "Today, we are announcing that we will no longer oppose post-conviction litigation for eight individuals who were convicted of murder because we no longer believe in the validity of these convictions."

Foxx said, when questioned, Guevara himself, repeatedly pleaded his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself. He's accused of manipulating investigations and framing victims.

"I'm here to thank Kim Foxx for doing the right thing and I have a message: This is just the beginning," said Exoneration Project Attorney Russell Ainsworth.

Nelson Gonzalez, one of those exonerated, also weighed in.

REALTED | Chicago man released from prison after 23 years after state drops murder charges

"There are others who need to be vindicated and we are going to keep pushing," he said.

As For the murder victims' families in these cases, all sides agree the wrongful convictions have been traumatic for them and allowed murders to remain free.

Three more cases are now being reviewed and investigated by the states attorney's office to possibly be overturned. If all of the cases are vacated, it would bring the total to 35 cases.

"We are overjoyed that Kim Foxx took this stand a proactive stance we wish the city of Chicago had taken 30 years ago," said Lovey & Lovey Attorney Sean Starr.