A man who claims a Chicago police detective framed him for a Northwest Side murder — resulting in 13 years behind bars — has filed a lawsuit against the city and several detectives.
Daniel Rodriguez was convicted in the 1991 shooting death of Jose “Junito” Hernandez Jr. based on a confession he long claimed was the result of threats and physical abuse by former Chicago Police Detective Reynaldo Guevara.
In April, Cook County Judge Sophia Atcherson vacated Rodriquez’s conviction, the 21st time a case handled by Guevara had been overturned based on allegations of misconduct by the detective.
After Atcherson handed down her decision, Rodriguez told the Sun-Times: “I woke up every day believing that one day the cell door was going to open and they were going to say, ‘We made a mistake. You’re free.’ But it never happened.”
Rodriguez has since gained a certificate of innocence from the court.
The civil lawsuit was filed Monday against the city of Chicago, Guevara and several other detectives involved in the case. It seeks unspecified monetary damages.
Attorneys from the law firm of Loevy and Loevy who are representing Rodriguez point out that the city has already spent more than $75 million of taxpayer money paying for wrongful convictions caused by Guevara.
Rodriguez is married, has several kids and works as a driver for a trucking firm, according to his attorneys.
The city last year paid out $20.5 million to Armando Serrano and Jose Montanez, who each spent 23 years in prison after being framed by Guevara. Guevara for years has refused to answer questions about his investigations, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination at numerous hearings.
Cook County Judge James Obbish in 2016 said Guevara responded with “bald-faced lies” when the retired detective was compelled to answer questions under oath in 2016 after prosecutors granted him immunity for his testimony about the case against Gabriel Solache and Arturo Reyes.
Rodriguez’s attorney, Anand Swaminathan, said Tuesday there are “dozens” of pending cases in which defendants have claimed they were framed by Guevara.