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His Murder Charges Were Finally Dismissed After Spending 23 Years In Prison

Twenty three years ago, Robert Almodovar was convicted of double homicide and given the death penalty.

Almodovar entered prison in 1994, leaving behind his six month old daughter, Jasmyn. Though no weapon or physical evidence linking him to the case, Almodovar had been locked up in Cook County Jail since 1994.

Almodovar’s conviction largely rested on the testimony of Chicago police Detective Reynaldo Guevara, who is now retired.

A recent Buzzfeed article reported that as many of Guevara’s cases have fallen apart under closer examination. Guevara was known for his ability to get convictions, but his tactics aroused the suspicion of a few of his colleagues. In March of 2017, BuzzFeed reported, when Guevara was asked about the Almodovar case, the retired detective pleaded the fifth 159 times.

Detective Guevara is believed to have framed 51 people for murder during the course of his career, Buzzfeed reported.

A few weeks after the testimony, Cook County Judge James Linn was informed by prosecutors that they would no longer pursue a case against Almodovar. As the Chicago Tribune reported, the Judge granted the request to repeal the Almodovar’s conviction, saying, “I was stunned. I’d never seen anything like this.”

Today, Almodovar walked from prison a free man.

Almodovar was greeted by family members that were overcome with both joy and grief: joy for the release of their loved one, and grief over the years they’d lost with Robert Almodovar. Live streams of his release showed family member and friends swarming him with love and laughs and tears. Each one embracing Almodovar as a free man for the first time in 23 years. One enthusiastic nephew could be heard shouting, “That’s my uncle!”

After greeting his loved-ones, Almodovar gave a brief interview with reporters.

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Almodovar said that the first things he plans on doing now that he’s free is spending time with his family, eat some good food, maybe even learning how to use a cellphone – having been locked up since 1994, Almodovar hasn’t ever taken a selfie or sent a text. As far as longterm plans, Almodovar said he wanted to get into school, pick up a trade, spend time with his family, and just catch up.

Almodovar said he also wanted to do his part to help out other people who were victims of Guevara’s corruption.

When asked, Almodovar told reporters that he couldn’t forgive Guevara for what he had done.

His attorney reminded reporters that Guevara had tried to kill Almodovar – the initial punishment was the death penalty. When asked by reporters what his message was for the retired detective, Almodovar said:

“I don’t know how he can live with himself… with what he did […] like my lawyer said, he tried to kill me. I was facing the death penalty. And he didn’t care. So I’m hoping – I pray to God – that the new State Attorney will put some charges on him. Hold him accountable for what he did. That’s what I want. I hope it happens.”

Guevara, who retired in 2005, still receives his $75,650 pension, BuzzFeed reported.

Almodovar told reporters that the hardest part of being locked up was being away from his daughter, Jasmyn.

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Jasmyn, now 23, has never known her father as a free man. When asked by reporters, she said “I feel like it’s still not real” and that she was very overwhelmed. As the Chicago Tribune reported, Almodovar said he wanted to teach his daughter how to ride a bike, to which she replied, “The thing is, I kind of don’t (know), so it’s perfect.” Jasmyn also said she would teach him how to use a cellphone.

When asked if there was anything else he wanted to “share with the world…”

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… Almodovar gave a joyful, “Free at last. Free at last!”

Check out the entire livestream video of Almodovar’s release, courtesy of BuzzFeed’s Facebook page.

Man Freed From Prison After BuzzFeed News InvestigationFreed From Prison After 23 Years — A man who claims he was framed for a 1994 double murder by a retired Chicago detective had his conviction tossed Friday morning and walked free from prison for the first time in 23 years // (Skip to 2:15:00 to witness the moment Roberto Almodovar is released and greeted by his friends and family) //

Posted by BuzzFeed News on Friday, April 14, 2017

[H/T] BuzzFeed: Detective Guevara’s Witnesses

READ: ICE Suspends Weekly List Of Crimes Committed By Undocumented Immigrants Because They Made Too Many Errors

The San Diego-Tijuana Border Was The Setting Of An Emotional, Bi-National Easter Celebration

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The San Diego-Tijuana Border Was The Setting Of An Emotional, Bi-National Easter Celebration

@DailySanDiego / Twitter / CBS 8 KFMB

Dozens of people separated by deportations finally had a chance to reconnect as they celebrated Easter at the U.S.-Mexico border. Their meeting was organized by El Faro: The Border Church, a church that holds services at the border every Sunday for Mexican and U.S. nationals, and Caravan Against Fear, a traveling immigration advocacy group. They teamed up to give several families a chance to reconnect at International Friendship Park in San Diego, Calif.

Families in the U.S. and Mexico gathered at the border wall in San Diego, Calif. to celebrate Easter and reconnect after years of separation.

Fox 5 KSWB

Friend of the Border Church Father Dermot Rodgers told FOX 5 KSWB why they held the service at the border wall separating San Diego, Calif. and Tijuana, Mexico: “To celebrate the promise that this day brings to Christians and that’s hope and renewal and promise.” Rodgers added, “Our being here, to bring families together, is to bear witness on this side of the border that we expect and hope that one day what seemed like utter darkness and deportation will become a resurrected story of family reunification.”

Families at the wall gathered to worship together and bring attention to the issues facing immigrants in the U.S.


According to a video by CBS 8 KFMB, the gathering was in large part a symbolic movement by the organizations El Far: The Border Church and Caravan Against Fear to show that they are all one family, the human family. Attendees on both sides of the border worshipped in unison while chanting and bringing attention to what the current immigration system looks like with real people.

“We don’t need any more militarization of the border,” Caravan Against Fear spokesperson Alejandra Valles told FOX 5 KSWB.


“We don’t need anymore walls. We already have enough of that. What we need is to start respecting one another as human beings and to start understanding and figuring out how we deal with some of the issues that are happening in Syria, in Mexico, in Haiti, in Brazil, across the world,” Valles told FOX 5 KSWB. “What we are are human beings and we need to start treating each other as such, as neighbors.”

Emotions ran high as siblings reunited with siblings and children reunited with parents after years of separation.

Fox 5 KSWB

And many traveled to San Diego or Tijuana for a chance to touch fingers with loved ones they have been separated from for so long.

Fox 5 KSWB

Families were able to spend a few hours talking and touching fingers through the border fence that has steadily grown since the park was first created. At first there was just a chain link fence the marked the international border. It was from 2009 to 2011 that more fences were added and the access to the border fence was severely restricted making moments to reconnect that much more impactful and important.

Watch the full news story here.

READ: This Immigration Rights Group Gave 6 Families The Chance To Cross The Border For A 3-Minute Visit

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