The Chicago Criminal Law Blog - Find a Chicago Criminal Attorney

Jerry Hobbs, Initially Accused Of Killing Daughter, Freed

Jerry Hobbs was finally released from jail after prosecutors initially charged him with the 2005 stabbing deaths of his 9-year-old daughter and her 8-year-old friend, according to the Chicago Tribune. The wrongly accused father was released after DNA evidence matched that of another suspect.

His Chicago criminal attorney, public defender Keith Grant, said he was glad his client was released, adding, "It's been a long time coming."

Evidence that eventually would set Jerry Hobbs free came to light roughly a month ago but prosecutors wanted to be absolutely sure before they released him. He called police in May 2005 to say he'd found the bodies of daughter Laura Hobbs and Krystal Tobias. He then confessed to the murders but said it was coerced by police.

He entered a plea of not guilty at his 2005 arraignment.

Lake County State's Atty. Michael Waller held a press conference about the new development, but stopped short of admitting error or apologizing to Jerry Hobbs:

"I believe at this point, we can't prove the case without reasonable doubt... I don't believe law enforcement did anything wrong in this case."

The man whose DNA matches that which was found at the crime scene, Jorge Torrez, currently is in custody in Virginia on charges he attacked two women there. He used to live in Zion, where the girls were killed.

Jerry Hobbs will return to his mother's home in Wichita Falls, Texas, and will be escorted by Lake County officials. In an emailed statement, JoAnn Hobbs said she might get her son back but "he will never be the same."

Alberto Segura, the half-brother of victim Krystal Tobias, said he and Jorge Torrez were once friends. While he still has a difficult time believing he could do something so violent, he admits he must not have known him that well:

"He was always a good guy with me. The person that I knew wouldn't do anything like that, but I believe it now. The DNA don't lie." 

Related Resources: