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Man Who Spent 20 Years In Jail Finally Released After His Twin Admits To The Crime

by : Poppy Bilderbeck on :
Man Who Spent 20 Years In Jail Finally Released After His Twin Admits To The Crime
Man Who Spent 20 Years In Jail Finally Released After His Twin Admits To The Crime (llinois Department of Corrections)

A man has been released from prison after nearly two decades after his identical twin brother confessed to the crime.

On Wednesday, January 26, Kevin Dugar was released from Cook County jail in Chicago.

The 44-year-old had been sentenced in connection with the shooting of a rival gang member in 2003, however, in 2016 his twin brother Karl Smith confessed to being responsible for the shooting and impersonating his brother.

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On September 22, 2016, at Leighton Criminal Court Building, Smith told the court he was 'here to confess to a crime that [Dugar] was wrongly accused of', The Independent reports.

Smith said that growing up, the pair acted 'as one'. 'Where I was, he was, acting like each other. He pretended to be me and I pretended to be him,' he explained.

Prior to confessing in court, Smith wrote letters to his brother to 'come clean' and to 'pray' for Dugar to forgive him.

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'I’m the one who shot and killed those two Black Stones on Sheridan that night. 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,' the letter read.

Man Released From Prison After 20 Years As Twin Brother Confesses (Alamy)
Man Released From Prison After 20 Years As Twin Brother Confesses (Alamy)

However, in 2018, Smith's confession was ruled by a judge as not being credible, though the decision was later reversed by an appeals court.

Northwestern University's Wrongful Convictions group also filed an appeal, which prompted another judge to review the case.

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Upon his release from prison, Dugar's attorney Ronald Safer told The New York Post how 'overjoyed' his client was to be free. 'But [he] 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,' he said.

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Safer explained, '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.'

He concluded: '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.'

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Smith is currently serving a 99-year prison sentence for an armed robbery that took place in 2008. It resulted in a six-year-old boy being fatally shot, per The Independent.

Since his release on Wednesday, Dugar has been inside a residential transitional facility, where he will remain for 90 days after his release.

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Poppy Bilderbeck

Poppy Bilderbeck is a Junior Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from The University of Manchester in 2021 with a First in English Literature and Drama, where alongside her studies she was Editor-in-Chief of The Tab Manchester. She currently runs the mental health column for UNILAD, and is such a crisp fanatic that the office has now been forced to release them in batches.

Topics: News, US News, Chicago