News January 28, 2022 at 09:00 am

Man who spent nearly 20 years in prison for murder released after twin brother confesses to killing

Francis Akhalbey | Content Manager

Francis Akhalbey January 28, 2022 at 09:00 am

January 28, 2022 at 09:00 am | News

Kevin Dugar (left) was released after his twin brother Karl Smith (right) confessed to the killing -- Photos via Illinois Department of Corrections |

A man who spent nearly 20 years in prison for murder was recently released after his identical twin brother confessed to being the killer. According to New York Post, Kevin Dugar, who had been locked up at Chicago’s Cook County Jail, was released from custody on Tuesday following the approval of a motion for his bond, his attorney said.

“He is overjoyed to be free but is also adjusting to a world that is quite different from the world he left 20 years ago when he was arrested for this crime he did not commit,” his attorney told the news outlet on Thursday.

Dugar was convicted in the 2003 shooting death of a rival gang member. But in 2016, Dugar’s identical twin brother, Karl Smith, cast doubts about his conviction after he confessed to being behind the fatal shooting.

But two years after the confession, a judge rejected to order a new trial for Dugar on the grounds that Smith’s claim was not credible. Smith was also behind bars at the time of the ruling as he had received a 99-year sentence for a home invasion that resulted in a child sustaining a gunshot wound to the head. An appeal against Smith’s conviction had also been rejected at the time.

The credibility of Smith’s confession was also questioned by the prosecutor at the time. He argued Smith had “nothing to lose.” But a different judge recently initiated a review into Dugar’s case after the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University filed an appeal, New York Post reported.

“The Court of Appeals found that there is a strong probability that a jury hearing all of the evidence would likely find Kevin not guilty,” Dugar’s attorney said.

Dugar’s representatives also said they hope the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office takes another look at the evidence and eventually drops his case. “We are hopeful that the State does the right thing and dismisses this case. But if the State persists, we look forward to vindicating Kevin at trial,” his attorney said.

Dugar has been ordered to stay in a residential transitional facility.

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