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Judge overturns conviction in attempted murder case tied to disgraced former police detective

Judge Erica Reddick ruled that Jose Maysonet’s conviction in the attempted murder case should be vacated because he received ineffective counsel from his attorney.

Jose Maysonet is hugged by his attorney Jennifer Bonjean outside Cook County Jail after he was released in 2017.
Jose Maysonet is hugged by his attorney Jennifer Bonjean outside Cook County Jail after he was released in 2017.
Sun-Times file

A Cook County judge Friday overturned a man’s attempted murder conviction nearly four years after prosecutors dropped charges against him in a separate double-murder case.

Judge Erica Reddick ruled Jose Maysonet’s conviction in the attempted murder case should be vacated because he received ineffective counsel from his attorney, according to a spokeswoman for Chief Judge Tim Evans’ office.

Both cases stemmed from separate investigations into 1990 shootings in which Maysonet was charged, defense attorney Steve Greenberg said Friday.

Maysonet, now 53, was first charged with attempted murder; he was at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse for a hearing in that case when he was arrested and charged with the fatal shooting of brothers Torrence and Kevin Wiley, Greenberg said.

After a jury in 1995 found him guilty of the brothers’ murders in 1995, Maysonet’s attorney at the time told him he should plead guilty to the attempted murder charge.

Maysonet won a new trial in the double murder case after it was revealed his lawyer in that case was representing disgraced former Chicago police detective Reynaldo Guevara in other matters at the same time, Greenberg said.

“It was a clear conflict of interest,” Greenberg said.

The prosecution’s murder case against Maysonet fell apart when five Chicago police officers involved in the case said they wouldn’t testify under oath at Maysonet’s retrial.

Maysonet, 53, was freed from prison in 2017 after prosecutors dropped murder charges against him, the Chicago Sun-Times previously reported.

He’d been imprisoned for 27 years, and had already served his full sentence in the attempted murder case by that time, according to Greenberg.

Maysonet “didn’t want the felony on his record,” Greenberg said, so they worked to overturn his conviction in that case.

Maysonet has long maintained Guevara beat him until he confessed to the double murder.

At least 20 other men who claimed they were framed by Guevara have been released from prison.

The state’s attorney’s office declined to say Friday if they would appeal Reddick’s ruling.

“We are currently reviewing the matter to determine if any next legal steps are appropriate,” a spokeswoman said.

Maysonet is also seeking a certificate of innocence in the double murder, which prosecutors opposed in a Febfiling.

In the filing, prosecutors argued there was “ample evidence” of his guilt and argued that Maysonet gave a “court reported statement confessing to his involvement in the crimes,” which they argue is still valid.