A man convicted of a 1990 double-murder filed a lawsuit Friday against the attorneys who represented him, claiming they were in cahoots with a former Chicago Police detective accused of beating suspects and coercing confessions.
Jose Maysonet claims the former detective, Reynaldo Guevara, beat a confession out of him with a flashlight and phonebook for the May 25, 1990, double homicide, according to a lawsuit filed in the Cook County Circuit Court.
Guevara has been accused of framing two murder suspects whose wrongful convictions were later vacated, the Sun-Times previously reported.
Maysonet was convicted of the shooting deaths of brothers Torrence and Kevin Wiley, according to the suit, which cites a former Chicago Sun-Times story about Guevara framing suspects. The suit also claims one of the attorneys knew and represented the former detective for more than a decade.
Maysonet was convicted by a jury on Aug. 8, 1995, despite the only evidence being a confession obtained by Guevara, according to the suit. Maysonet claims he did not speak English at the time of the charge and Guevara beat him in order to obtain a confession.
Richard Beuke, the attorney who represented Maysonet, had known and represented Guevara for more than a decade, and was even representing the detective in a child support case that overlapped the plaintiff’s murder trial.
The suit also cites an instance in which Beuke was removed by the state from a separate homicide case, in which he was defending a man who had been investigated by Guevara. In that suit, the state cited a conflict of interest after it learned about the relationship between Beuke and Guevara, the suit said.
The other attorney named in the lawsuit, Steven C. “Randy” Rueckert, was Beuke’s co-counsel.
In February, former U.S. Attorney Scott Lassar completed an investigation commissioned in 2013 by City Hall into misconduct allegations against Guevara. Lassar requested City Hall turn “a handful of cases” involving the former detective to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.
“Lassar’s investigation revealed that there was no widespread pattern of wrongdoing, as there had been with Burge,” a spokeswoman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel previously told the Sun-Times. “However, out of the more than 70 cases that were reviewed, there are a handful of cases that the investigators determined merit further review by the state’s attorney and a determination whether further action is needed.”
Just which cases Lassar wanted prosecutors to review is unclear as city officials declined to release a copy of his findings. Lassar also won’t comment, the Sun-Times reported.
The three-count suit seeks more than $300,000 and claims legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duties and fraud. The suit did not list Guevara.
Beuke could not be immediately reached Friday evening.