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East Chicago Man Wants Murder Conviction Tossed

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HAMMOND, Ind. (STMW) – An East Chicago Imperial Gangsters member says his racketeering and murder conviction should be tossed partly because he thinks one of his jurors has ties to a rival gang.

An attorney for Richard Reyes, who was convicted after a trial in January in the U.S. District Court in Hammond of killing Rene Alonzo in September 2007, filed the motion for acquittal Monday.

Reyes, who is set to be sentenced July 31, claims in the motion that he has reason to believe one of the jurors who convicted him has ties to the Latin Kings, a rival gang to the Imperial Gangsters.

“This would indicate not only possible bias on the part of the juror, but the juror’s failure to disclose this during (jury questioning) would be grounds to requested relief post-verdict,” the motion says.

He argues that three notes that the jury sent to U.S. District Judge Philip Simon during their deliberation also show that they were under fear. The first question asked if the foreman would be publicly identified, the second asked for the definition of murder and the third asked for a new verdict form.

Reyes’ attorney Jack Friedlander is also asking to interview juror members again to further investigate these claims.

The motion goes on to say that the government should not have been allowed to present rebuttal testimony by rival Latin Kings members, who Reyes said worked with each other to make sure they gave the same testimony. He also claims that federal attorneys knew these witnesses had done this.

“This was outrageous and an improper tactic to win at all costs,” the motion says.

It also reiterates an argument Friedlander made just before trial that prosecutors improperly held on to evidence that could have helped acquit Reyes.

Reyes is asking for an acquittal or to have a new trial.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)