Murder charges dropped after Chicago cops say they won't testify

CHICAGO (AP) - The refusal of five former Chicago police officers to testify in the retrial of a man incarcerated for murder since 1990 has resulted in the dropping of charges against the defendant.

Cook County prosecutors on Wednesday dropped charges against Jose Maysonet after lawyers for retired Detective Reynaldo Guevara and four former officers said they would take the 5th Amendment during Maysonet's retrial.

Maysonet maintained Guevara beat him with a flashlight and a phone book, coercing his confession to the fatal shootings of brothers Torrence and Kevin Wiley. Similar allegations have surfaced in dozens of cases handled by Guevara, who worked for the police department for 30 years.

Maysonet has been held at the Cook County Jail since his conviction was overturned last year. The ruling was based on allegations of abuse and a conflict of interest by his defense lawyer.