A Chicago police officer who is accused of framing at least 51 people for murder will now face a new allegation: A former drug dealer says he paid Detective Reynaldo Guevara at least $1,000 a week in exchange for protection from arrest. The payments went on for two years, his lawyer told a Cook County Associate Judge today, before Guevara framed the man for a 1990 double murder.
According to the lawyer for the man in question, Jose Maysonet, he, Guevara, and another former Chicago police officer met in the back of a Cuban restaurant in Chicago's predominantly Latino neighborhood of Humboldt Park in 1988 to propose Maysonet pay for protection. Guevara, who has since retired, was the subject of a BuzzFeed News investigation earlier this year. The other officer, Joe Miedzianowski, is currently serving a life sentence in federal court for his role in a operating a drug ring.
Maysonet’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, told BuzzFeed News that her client stopped paying after an angry confrontation with Guevara following the arrest (and suicide) of one of his associates. Three months later, Maysonet was arrested for the double murder of brothers Torrance and Kevin Wiley.
An attorney for Guevara, William Fahy, did not immediately return a phone message from BuzzFeed News.
The key piece of evidence against Maysonet was a confession, which he says Guevara coerced by beating him with a phone book and flashlight. At trial in 1995, a court found Maysonet guilty and sentenced him to life in prison.
His attorney Richard Beuke, was also representing Guevara in a child support case. In a 2001 interview with FBI agents, a convicted drug dealer who worked with Miedzianowski alleged that Guevara and Beuke split under-the-table payments in exchange for Guevara allowing defendants to “buy their way” out of trouble.
Maysonet appealed his conviction, arguing that he was deprived of adequate counsel because of his lawyer’s relationship with Guevara. The conviction was overturned last year.
But State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office decided to retry Maysonet's case, even as claims of widespread misconduct by Guevara mounted. BuzzFeed News reported last spring that at least 51 people have framed people for murder.
Maysonet is scheduled to testify November 15.
It's a case, the judge said in court, that's “getting more interesting by the minute.”