The Cook County state’s attorney’s office has decided not to reopen any of six murder cases referred to it by City Hall involving allegations that the men convicted were framed by former Chicago police Detective Reynaldo Guevara.
Prosecutors reviewed the cases and found no cause to reopen any of them, says Fabio Valentini, a top prosecutor for State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
“We don’t feel these guys are innocent guys,” Valentini says. “We haven’t come across evidence sufficient to show that any of these guys are innocent of these crimes.”
The cases had been passed along to prosecutors by former U.S. Attorney Scott Lassar after a City Hall-ordered review by Lassar and others at his law firm, Sidley Austin LLP, of complaints involving Guevara.
The six cases involve inmates Roberto Almodovar, Robert Bouto, Jose Montanez, Arturo Reyes, Armando Serrano and Gabriel Solache.
Five of them have pending appeals, aiming through the courts to prove they should go free. Still, the state’s attorney’s decision deals a setback to their hopes that Lassar’s findings would help prove they were wrongfully convicted
Guevara declined to comment.
Serrano’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, says she was disappointed but not surprised by the state’s attorney’s decision.
“They’ve been defending these convictions in court,” Bonjean says. “This doesn’t change anything for us. We’re still going to keep fighting.”
This was written by Andrew Schroedter, an investigator with the Better Government Association.