Despite Prosecutor Saying Men Committed Murders, Attorney Says Firm Will Press Lawsuit
Men were illegal aliens at the time of murders...
On Monday a Chicago attorney said that his law firm intends to file a lawsuit on behalf of two men whose conviction for a double murder was vacated last year, even though prosecutors said they believed the men are guilty of the murders.
From the Chicago Tribune:
First Assistant State’s Attorney Eric Sussman said prosecutors still strongly believe Gabriel Solache and Arturo Reyes are guilty of the 1998 fatal stabbing of a couple in their Bucktown neighborhood home. . . .
Nevertheless, Loevy & Loevy attorney Steven Art said Monday that his law firm intends to file a lawsuit on behalf of both men, illegal aliens at the time of the murders, before they leave the country to be sent back to their native Mexico.
Not only did prosecutors say that they believed Solache and Reyes were guilty, a third-party re-investigation of the cases by the law firm of Sidley Austin LLP also bolstered the guilt of the two men.
From their report:
“In fact, we have concluded that evidence available to us leads us to reject their claims of actual innocence.”
The case could ignite renewed debates about sanctuary cities and the prevalence of crime by illegal aliens because Solache and Reyes, along with a woman named Adriana Mejia, were convicted of murdering Jacinta and Mariano Soto in 1998 by repeatedly stabbing the couple in their own apartment. Blood from Jacinta Soto was found on the wall five feet away from her body. According to prosecutors, the three offenders then kidnapped the Sotos’ children.
Reyes got life. Solache was sentenced to death but was saved from execution by Governor George Ryan, who ended the death penalty in Illinois in 2003 under pressure from the wrongful conviction crowd.
A lawsuit against the city by the men and their attorneys at Loevy & Loevy could become a public relations nightmare for the city, as sources indicate that both men may also be angling to obtain a visa that would allow them back into the country, possibly as part of their legal crusade.
Where would they stay? For how long?
Not since Madison Hobley was exonerated in 2003 from death row for an arson that killed seven—another case Loevy & Loevy worked on—has the city seen such a bizarre turnabout in a wrongful conviction case: Two men serving life sentences for a double murder and kidnapping, freed from prison even though a prosecutor said he thought they were guilty, filing a lawsuit, and then, perhaps, coming back into the country.
The case could also cast a dark shadow on Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx’s administration. The reason is that her predecessor, Anita Alvarez, stood by Guevara and the convictions.
“We don’t feel these guys are innocent guys,” prosecutor Fabio Valentini said about the Guevara cases under the Alvarez administration.
But within weeks of Kimberly Foxx taking over the prosecutor’s office after defeating Alvarez in the election, the state’s attorney did an about-face. Rather than back the Guevara cases as Alvarez did, Foxx began siding against the detective. She walked away from the convictions of two men in another Guevara case, both of whom were released from prison.
Foxx then forced Guevara to testify in the Solache/Reyes case, imposing a deeply suspicious “immunity” on Guevara that undermined his right to plead the Fifth. Guevara’s attorney cried foul, saying that his client was being put in a “perjury trap.”
According to the website Illinois Sunshine, Arthur Loevy donated $20,000 to Friends of Foxx in February 2016.
Her current director of Policy, Research and Development, Katie Hill, is also a former employee at Loevy & Loevy.
Is there a conflict of interest in the prosecutor’s office?
And then there is the Chicago media. The media is often accused by police officers and the FOP of a powerful bias in favor of wrongful conviction claims. The bias may be rearing itself again, for the media relentlessly covered the Solache and Reyes case when their attorneys and supporters were alleging misconduct against retired detective Guevara, but have gone silent about the two men possibly coming back into the country and filing their lawsuit against the city.