Chicago man getting new trial after 23 years behind bars

After spending 23 years behind bars for murder, a Chicago man is getting a new trial.

Lawyers for David Gecht say his case is the 22nd overturned conviction tied to Chicago police detective Reynaldo Guevara.

Attorneys say Gecht was 18 years old, when he was allegedly beaten into a false confession.

On Wednesday, Judge Diana Kenworthy overturned the 1999 conviction and ordered that Gecht receive a new trial.

Kenworthy found that Guevara beat and threatened the 19-year-old Gecht into making a false confession, and threatened Gecht’s pregnant, 18-year-old girlfriend into implicating Gecht.

"When examined together, the pattern of behavior that developed regarding Guevara was that he would select random men as suspects in unsolved cases," Kenworthy wrote in a 30-page order handed down at a hearing Wednesday.

"The suspects and the chosen witnesses such as close friends, girlfriends and wives of suspects wold be encouraged, manipulated, induced, threatened and/or physically abused into either making a false identification, giving a false statement implicating another person, or giving a false confession."

Gecht was not at Wednesday afternoon's news conference with his family, as the state may appeal the ruling. 


Guevara has asserted his fifth amendment rights not to incriminate himself in this case.

Two years ago, the state’s attorney announced a review of Guevara-related convictions.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.