Brothers allege they were framed for murder at behest of Joseph Miedzianowski
Two brothers were framed for a 1997 murder as a result of a Chicago police detective who was secretly working an in depth narcotics ring thought one of them had stolen from one of his drug-world associates, attorneys for the brothers stated in court docket Monday.
Juan and Rosendo Hernandez are hoping to win a brand new trial after 25 years in custody, alleging that drug-running Officer Joseph Miedzianowski — as soon as referred to as “the most corrupt” officer ever prosecuted in northern Illinois — colluded with now-infamous former Detective Reynaldo Guevara to pin a Northwest Side murder on Juan Hernandez, with Rosendo getting caught up as collateral harm.
The listening to earlier than Cook County Judge Joanne Rosado is anticipated to final at least by means of Tuesday. Attorneys for the Hernandez brothers need her to grant them new trials, whereas Cook County prosecutors argue that the brothers’ convictions are legitimate and may stay intact.
A key witness for the brothers, Frederick Rock, started testifying late Monday. Rock was charged federally as half of Miedzianowski’s drug enterprise and cooperated with federal authorities towards the Chicago Police Department officer.
Testifying through videoconference from his native Dominica, to which he was deported after his federal conviction, Rock stated he labored with Miedzianowski within the drug commerce.
Miedzianowski had a vendetta towards Juan Hernandez, nicknamed “Poochie,” as a result of he believed Juan stole marijuana from a seller he needed to guard, Rock testified.
“He wanted (the marijuana) back or he’d make sure Poochie would get in trouble,” Rock stated.
Miedzianowski launched Guevara to Rock as “the officer who was going to help him get Poochie,” Rock testified. “He wanted to get Poochie no matter what the cost.”
On cross-examination, nonetheless, prosecutors obtained Rock to acknowledge that he by no means heard Miedzianowski explicitly give Guevara directions. And in opening statements earlier than Rosado, Assistant State’s Attorney Carol Rogala hinted Rock was to not be trusted.
“You’re not going to hear from Joe Miedzianowski that ‘I wanted to get Juan Hernandez and his family,’ ” Rogala stated. “You’re going to hear from a convicted felon who has been deported and is beyond the reach of the American justice system.”
Attorneys for the brothers additionally stated Monday that Guevara lied in police studies to weaken the brothers’ alibis, and “(put) his hands on the scale to get eyewitnesses to make identifications in absolutely impossible scenarios,” lawyer Joshua Tepfer, who represents Rosendo Hernandez, stated in court docket Monday.
In addition, attorneys for the brothers stated they have discovered a witness who, one evening in 1997, had a good friend leap into his automotive to say he thought he had killed a rival gang member. That particular person stated that somebody threw a motorcycle at his windshield as he was driving away from the capturing, which corroborates one eyewitness’ account that somebody threw a motorcycle at the shooter’s automotive, the brothers’ attorneys wrote in a court docket submitting.
Cook County prosecutors, nonetheless, cautioned Judge Rosado to not lump this case in with different Guevara-related issues. The preliminary witness interviews were carried out by a wholly completely different set of detectives, and there are eyewitnesses who to today will establish the brothers because the assailants, Rogala stated.
Miedzianowski was convicted on federal expenses together with racketeering and drug conspiracy, accused of working a drug ring with nationwide scope whereas sporting a CPD star. He is serving a life sentence in a federal jail downstate, based on Bureau of Prisons data.
Meanwhile, dozens of folks have accused Guevara, now retired, of manipulating witnesses, fabricating proof and framing suspects over the course of his career. He has repeatedly asserted his Fifth Amendment proper to stay silent when questioned in regards to the alleged wrongdoing. Multiple alleged wrongful convictions have been linked to Guevara and the town has confronted lawsuits over the accusations towards him.
The brothers’ first witness Monday was Daniel Violante, who testified he was in entrance of a Northwest Side gangway that evening in 1997 subsequent to his good friend, Jorge Gonzalez. Two folks got here out of a close-by automotive, one of them pointed a gun at his abdomen, after which he jumped over the fence and heard gunshots, Violante testified.
He got here again and noticed Gonzalez on the bottom, bleeding.
On the witness stand Monday, Violante insisted that he by no means noticed the faces of the individuals who killed his good friend.
“Everything was black to me,” he stated. “I didn’t see that face. … It happened fast. Too fast.”
At the brothers’ trials, nonetheless, Violante took the stand to establish them because the attackers. On Monday, he stated he did so merely as a result of the Gonzalez household had pointed them out, so he figured they will need to have carried out it.
A year after the capturing, Violante signed an affidavit saying he really falsely accused the Hernandez brothers out of retaliation, and he needed the costs to be dropped. Prosecutors have alleged that affidavit was the product of a brokered deal between two gangs, by which Violante would recant in alternate for one other witness strolling again his testimony in a separate case.
Violante denied that on the stand, and on cross-examination stated somebody merely confirmed up at his home with the affidavit already typewritten, and he signed it.
“Some guy just came to your house and asked you to sign it?” Rogala requested.
“Right, that’s exactly what happened,” Violante stated.