Having a twin sibling can come with many advantages, but rarely does one of those include getting you out of a multi-decade prison sentence on the count that you look alike.
That oddly enough proved to be the case for a Chicago man serving 54 years for a gang-related shooting, whose prison sentence came to an end last week after it was discovered that his twin brother had committed the murder all along.
It only took them nearly 20 years after his sentence to figure it out.
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According to NBC News, 44-year-old Kevin Dugar was sentenced back in 2005 for what was previously believed to be his role in a deadly 2003 shooting that left one man dead and another wounded in Uptown Chicago. He would go on to spend nearly 20 years in jail before the shocking confession from his twin brother, Karl Smith, came in the form of a 2013 prison letter.
Read up on how everything came to a head below, via NBC News:
“Initially, the admission had little impact on Dugar’s case, with a judge ruling in 2018 that Smith’s confession was not credible and declining to offer his twin a new trial, according to The Chicago Tribune.
Smith had been denied an appeal himself as he was serving out a 99-year sentence for a home invasion that saw a child shot in the head. Prosecutors questioned the motives behind his confession, telling the judge that he only came forward after a court upheld his own conviction for attempted murder, the Chicago Tribune had reported at the time.
A lawyer with the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s Center on Wrongful Convictions took Dugar’s case back to court, however. And now, after Tuesday’s ruling, he will have a second chance to prove his innocence.”
Dugar’s lawyer Ronald Safer said the judge granted his release last Tuesday on a signature bond pending trial, describing his client’s first moments as a free man to NBC by stating, “It was gratifying to watch his tears roll down his cheeks and their cheeks before (their tears) froze on their faces because it was about 7 below.”
The wait now comes down to whether or not the Cook County state’s attorney will drop the case against Kevin Dugar or give him another trial, which Safer replied to by stating, “It’s clear that he’s innocent, but if they persist we will go to trial and we will vindicate him at trial.”
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