Jenner & Block

Pro Bono Victory: False, Coerced Confession in Reyes Case Suppressed

On December 13, 2017, Cook County Circuit Court Judge James Obbish suppressed the confession of firm client Arturo Reyes after finding it to be falsely coerced by Detective Reynaldo Guevara of the Chicago Police Department.  Mr. Reyes, who has been in prison since 2000, was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping and home invasion in a high-profile double murder case in 1998.  His conviction was largely based on a statement he signed after two-plus days of questioning by four Chicago police detectives, one being Det. Guevara. 

In October 2017, after prosecutors granted Det. Guevara immunity from prosecution for everything but perjury, Det. Guevara repeatedly said he did not remember anything about the case and refused to examine documents offered to him to refresh his memory.

“He showed what he was made of,” Judge Obbish said as quoted in Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times articles, concluding that Det. Guevara had no reason to be evasive.  “[Det. Guevara] has now eliminated the possibility of being considered a credible witness in any proceeding.”

After the court’s directed ruling on the motion to suppress, which Partner David P. Saunders argued, Partner Andrew W. Vail, who leads the Jenner & Block trial team, moved the court to vacate Mr. Reyes’ conviction.  The state has until January 10, 2018, to decide how it intends to proceed, whereupon Mr. Vail will renew the motion. 

The firm team also includes Associates Matthew T. Gordon, Samuel Jahangir and Huiyi Chen and Paralegals Mike Hughes and Nick Perrone.

TAGS: Litigation

PEOPLE: Andrew W. Vail, David P. Saunders, Matthew T. Gordon, Samuel Jahangir, Huiyi Chen