Man who spent 20 years in prison released after twin confesses

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Man who spent 20 years in prison released after twin confesses

A man who spent nearly 20 years in prison for murder has been released after his identical twin brother confessed to the crime.

Kevin Dugar was freed from the Cook County Jail in Chicago on Tuesday night after a motion for bond was granted, his lawyer, Ronald Safer, told The Post.

“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,” the attorney said Thursday.

Dugar had spent the last two decades in prison after being convicted in the 2003 fatal shooting of a rival gang member.

But the case was called into question when his twin brother, Karl Smith, came forward in 2016 to issue the stunning confession that he was responsible for the deadly shooting.

Two years later, a judge ruled that Smith’s admission wasn’t credible and declined to offer his twin a new trial.

At the time, Smith was already serving a 99-year sentence for a home invasion that left a child shot in the head. Smith had also recently been denied an appeal.

Karl Smith
Karl Smith came forward in 2016 to confess to the deadly shooting.
Illinois Department of Corrections

The prosecutor at the time said Smith had “nothing to lose” — and he was skeptical of the twin’s sudden admission.

Another judge recently started reviewing Dugar’s case after the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University appealed it.

“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.

Judy Dugar, right, talks with her attorney Karen Daniel in the Leighton Criminal Courts Building on Sept. 22, 2106 in Chicago.
Judy Dugar (right), mother of identical twins Kevin and Karl Smith, talks with her attorney Karen Daniel in the Leighton Criminal Courts Building on Sept. 22, 2016, in Chicago.
Nancy Stone/ Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

They are hoping the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office will review the evidence and drop Dugar’s case entirely.

“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,” the attorney said.

As a condition of his release, Dugar will live in a residential transitional facility.

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