Judge dismisses double murder case, frees inmate after 23 years in prison

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After serving 23 years in prison for a double murder he did not commit, Robert Almodovar's case was dismissed Friday, making him a free man.

"It feels great. Feels wonderful. Got to see my daughter, my family," said Almodovar.

The 41-year-old's mother, who still calls her son junior, said she always knew he was innocent.

"I always told my son to never give up to always have faith," said Angela Navarro.

Almodovar was 20 years old when he was charged with shooting and killing two Chicago teens. There was no physical evidence that tied him to the scene, but police interviewed two witnesses who said they saw him there.

One of those witnesses later came out and said Chicago Detective Reynaldo Guevara had influenced his testimony by showing him a photo of Almodovar before the police lineup had even happened. Guevara is now retired, but dozens of families and attorneys want more of his cases to be opened back up.

"We call on Kim Foxx to investigate every single Guevara case because there are many innocent men still locked up," said Russell Ainsworth of the University of Chicago Exoneration Project.

Now that Almodovar has his freedom, he said he's going to be spending a lot of time with his family, especially his 23-year-old daughter Jasmyn, eating some of his favorite Puerto Rican foods, and learning how to use a cell phone.

A second man, convicted along with Almodovar for the 1994 double murder, also had his charges dropped Friday.

He remains behind bars for a different crime, but he may be released soon given that he's already served 23 years. null
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