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Home » Blog » Identical twin confesses: “I’m the murderer, not my brother”

Identical twin confesses: “I’m the murderer, not my brother”

identical twins stand before prison bars with a question mark between their headsChicago police officers took Kevin Dugar into custody back in 2003. In 2005, a judge sentenced him to 54 years in prison for first-degree murder. That’s where he’s been for eleven years. Not unusual. When somebody gets caught murdering somebody else, that murdering somebody goes to jail for a long time.

Except, what happens if the murderer’s identical twin confesses to his crime eleven years later?

Lucky us, we get to find out. Because on Thursday, September 22, 2016, Kevin Dugar’s identical twin brother Karl Smith went to trial and confessed that it was him, not Dugar, who killed one man and injured another on that night in March of 2003.

Whaddya do with that one, judge?

Ain’t no easy answer.

First of all, the evidence that wound up landing Kevin Dugar in prison for 54 years wasn’t damning. No fingerprints. No confession. Just a couple of witnesses.

We’re mainly talking about Ronnie Bolden here (the guy who got shot but didn’t die). At the time, Boldon’s gang was feuding with Dugar and Smith’s — Black P Stones vs. the Conservative Vice Lords, respectively.

This brings us to one big problem with Boldon’s damning testimony: he waited over a month to appear in court because he was hoping to sort things out “on the street.” So there’s that.

In terms of remembering things accurately, a month is a huge, huge interval between experiencing an incident and recounting it. False memories and all that good stuff. Eye-witness testimonies are notoriously sketchy.

And let’s not forget where this particularly questionable testimony came from: the defendant’s enemy. In other words, a man who was very possibly motivated by other factors besides the Truth. Black P Stones vs. the Conservative Vice Lords (at least, at the time).

To make matters more complicated, when Boldon picked Dugar out of the police lineup (which didn’t include Smith), he didn’t call him by his name. He called him “Twin.” And yes, you guessed it, ‘Twin’ was a name shared by Dugar and Smith.

A twinning combination:

Identical twins have mildly baffled non-twins, probably since forever. Two different people who look exactly the same? Exactly? The same?

It’s strange, but it happens, and we’re generally used to it. Kevin Dugar and Karl Smith grew up in a manner familiar to anybody who knew identical twins as a kid. They shared clothes, food, etc. Their parents and friends struggled to tell them apart and they took advantage of this. In fact, the resemblance was so uncanny that Dugar himself had trouble picking himself out of an old photo.

Growing older didn’t stop Dugar and Smith from milking their twinhood for what it was worth — Hence their sharing of ‘Twin’ as a street name. As Smith put it himself at Thursday’s trial:

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

He also admitted that when police officers questioned him immediately after the murder, he told them he was Dugar’s brother. They left him alone after that and he let them. Until now.

Smith first confessed to his brother in 2013. He wrote him a letter. By this time, he was serving a 99-year-long prison sentence for a different murder: that of a 6-year-old boy during an armed burglary.

Dugar didn’t respond to Smith’s first letter, but he responded to the second one. Smith was instructed to reach out to Dugar’s attorneys. In 2014, he signed a sworn confession.

Smith claims that on the night of the murder, he and a friend had left a party to buy some pot. They parked, were approached by Bolden two others, Smith shot at them, and sped off to the liquor store. Then he went clubbing.

He also claims that he didn’t admit to the crime back then because he believed Dugar would get off the hook somehow. “I didn’t have the strength to come forward,” he said during Thursday’s trial.

Fighting criminal charges:

While bizarre, the case of Dugar and Smith does illustrate how complicated the criminal justice process is. Most people accused of crimes aren’t identical twins, but many do find themselves defending their narratives with a serious lack of evidence. If you don’t have explicit proof your innocence, and especially if you don’t have good legal representation, it’s fair to say you’re on the road to a frighteningly uncertain resolution.

At Turner Law Offices, P.C., our team of attorneys has years of experience working with clients across a wide range of cases accusations of murder. If you or a loved one is unjustly facing such charges, it’s absolutely critical that your first step is to seek legal assistance. The longer you take to do so, the colder the evidence gets, and the less likely you are to defend your position. Time is truly of the essence in these types of cases, so don’t wait! Call today, or go online to set up your free initial consultation, and meet with a skilled lawyer who’s ready and waiting to guide you toward the justice you deserve.

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