An Elk Grove Village man doing prison time on drug charges must wait a bit longer for a ruling on his motion to vacate his guilty plea.
Cook County Judge Kay Hanlon on Friday granted prosecutors' request to have until Monday to file their written response to the defense's motion, saying she was doing so "out of fairness."
Attorney Victor Ciardelli said he had hoped Hanlon would grant his motion based on newly discovered evidence that calls into question the credibility of the police officer who testified against his client, Victor Alvarado, 29, during a January 2012 hearing to quash Alvarado's arrest and suppress his statements.
That officer was Matthew Hudak, one of three former Schaumburg undercover officers charged in January in DuPage County with criminal drug conspiracy, delivery of a controlled substance and other felonies. Hudak, along with former officers Terrence O'Brien and John Cichy, resigned shortly after their arrests. They have pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been released on bond.
Hudak and O'Brien arrested Alvarado in November 2010 after they discovered drugs in a home he shared with three other people. Alvarado claims that Hudak never read him his Miranda rights and that he never pointed out to the former officers the location of any drugs. That contradicted Hudak's testimony, which Hanlon found more credible. She subsequently denied the defense's motion to quash Alvarado's arrest.
Six months later, Alvarado pleaded guilty to the charges in exchange for a six-year prison term because he feared a conviction would result in a longer sentence, said Ciardelli.
Ciardelli bristled at prosecutors' request for additional time, calling it "a ploy to keep him (Alvarado) in jail."
Some say that's where Alvarado belongs.
"He admitted that he committed the crime. What higher inculpation can a person have?" said Thomas Glasgow, Hudak's attorney.
"(Alvarado) chose to plead guilty. He chose to admit to the crime," Glasgow said.
Cook County Assistant State's Attorney David Weiner said he believes the request for more time is reasonable given the importance of the hearing.
"There are legal arguments and research we want the opportunity to present to the court," he said.
As for Alvarado, he's waiting for his new day in court, Ciardelli said. "He's very hopeful."Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.