Chicago man who spent 20 years in jail for murder released after twin brother admits to the crime

Kevin Dugar was convicted in 2003 in connection with the shooting of a rival gang member

Sravasti Dasgupta
Friday 28 January 2022 14:32
<p>Karl Smith, left, and identical brother Kevin Dugar  who was released on a bond from a Chicago jail on Wednesday </p>

Karl Smith, left, and identical brother Kevin Dugar who was released on a bond from a Chicago jail on Wednesday

A Chicago man who spent nearly two decades in jail for murder was released on Wednesday after his identical twin brother confessed to the crime.

Kevin Dugar, 44, who was released from Chicago’s Cook County jail, was convicted in 2003 in connection with the shooting of a rival gang member, reported the New York Post.

In 2016, his twin brother Karl Smith had confessed to the crime in court and said that he had impersonated his brother and was responsible for the shooting.

“We was acting as one,” Mr Smith was quoted as saying in court.

“Where I was, he was, acting like each other. He pretended to be me, and I pretended to be him.”

Prior to his admission in court, he had confessed to his brother in a letter three years ago.

“I have to get it off my chest before it kills me,” he had written in the letter in 2013, reported the Chicago Tribune.

“So I’ll just come clean and pray you can forgive me… I’m the one who shot and killed those two Black Stones on Sheridan that night.”

In a second letter he had written, “The reason I didn’t say [expletive] at the time was because I didn’t and couldn’t find the strength to do so at the time.”

While a judge had ruled that his confession was not credible in 2018, it was later reversed by an appeals court.

Another judge recently started reviewing the case after an appeal was filed by the Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University.

On Wednesday, Mr Dugar’s attorney Ronald Safer 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,” reported the New York Post.

“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.”

“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,” he added.

Mr Smith is already incarcerated and serving 99 years in prison for an armed robbery that led to the death of a 6-year-old boy in 2008.

Mr Dugar will spend 90 days in a residential transitional facility as a condition of his release.

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