By Juan Fernandez

MONTEREY PARK (CBS) — A Monterey Park man says he wants a public apology from officials who implicated him in the death of his fiancee.

In December of 1997, Linda Hesse was shot and killed near her home in Monterey Park and for years, her fiancé Randy Reyes was suspected of pulling the trigger.

KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz Reports

“I’ve suffered for 13 years. Defamation, slander, emotional distress by being called the murderer of my fiancée. That’s incredible. And now that we have justice for Linda, it’s time for justice for me,” Reyes said.

It turns out a known gang member has since been convicted of murdering Hesse.

Reyes says a bogus police report filed that night turned the tables against him.

“I’m not going to mince my words. It’s a bogus police report, Writing that ‘Mr. Reyes was running from the scene,’ writing that ‘he said that I said ‘Who called the police? Who called the police, I don’t want the police here.’ I mean it is incredulous to even imagine that,” he added.

Ballistic testing and a tip finally proved Reyes was not Hesse’s killer. But in the court of public opinion, the damage was already done.

“No citizen should be treated like this. I mean, why? Again, contrast what happened with what I’ve gone through.”

Through the years, Reyes found supporters like current Monterey Park Mayor Betty Tom Chu.

“If there is something that is appropriate to be done and legally that can be done to help have him find closure, I think that would be something that I could support,” the mayor said.

Now that Hesse’s killer has been convicted, Reyes says it’s time for former city officials who publicly questioned him to apologize. Among them, former Monterey Park City Councilwoman Judy Chu.

“I want to see them have the courage to come forward and say ‘We were wrong’ and seek forgiveness and how are they going to amend it,” Reyes said.

Those former city officials gave no comment.


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