Man’s double-murder conviction vacated, granted new trial

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Jose Maysonet. | Illinois Department of Corrections.

A man who said he was beaten by former Chicago Police Detective Reynaldo Guevara and forced to confess to a double murder had his conviction vacated Wednesday and was granted a new trial.

Jose Maysonet said Guevara hit him with a flashlight and phone book while he was handcuffed to a wall during his interrogation for the slayings on May 25, 1990.

Maysonet, now 48, also said he did not know English when he was forced to confess to the shooting deaths of brothers Torrence and Kevin Wiley.

In addition to the torture inflicted by Guevara, one of Maysonet’s attorneys at the time, Richard Beuke, had known and represented Guevara for more than a decade, and was even representing the detective in a child support case that overlapped the trial, according to a lawsuit Maysonet filed last year.

Maysonet said the only evidence against him at his 1995 trial was a confession obtained by Guevara.

Guevara has been accused of framing other murder suspects whose convictions were later vacated.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office on Wednesday issued a statement pointing to the apparent conflict of interest tied to Beuke.

“After a thorough investigation, it is apparent that the attorney who represented Maysonet also represented a Chicago Police Detective, in an unrelated matter, who was a witness against Maysonet,” the statement read.

“It is also apparent that this conflicting representation was never disclosed to the court during the trial.”

Beuke, who represented disgraced former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge at his perjury and obstruction of justice trial in 2010, could not be reached for comment.

Maysonet had his conviction and sentence vacated by Cook County Judge Rickey Jones, according to court records.

Maysonet had been serving a life sentence for the murders, said Jennifer Bonjean, his current attorney.

In 2015, former U.S. Attorney Scott Lassar, completing an investigation commissioned by City Hall, requested that city officials turn over “a handful of cases” involving Guevara to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

“Lassar’s investigation revealed that there was no widespread pattern of wrongdoing,” a spokeswoman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel had 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.”

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