Jerry Hobbs, the father accused of killing his 8-year-old daughter and her 9-year-old friend in Zion in 2005, will remain in jail despite DNA evidence linking another man to the murders.
Prosecutors in the case told the judge they wanted more time to analyze the new-found evidence. Judge Fred Foreman agreed, and Hobbs will remain in jail for at least another two weeks.
New evidence was found on June 25, when DNA on Laura’s body was matched to that of a man already in custody for another crime. A Zion woman has confirmed a task force told her they had evidence linking her brother, Jorge “George” Torrez, to the crime, the Chicago Tribune reports. The family’s home is a block away from the victims’ houses.
It is unclear whether the new lead in the case will exonerate Hobbs.
The two girls, 8-year-old Laura Hobbs and her 9-year-old friend Krystal Tobias, were found on Mother’s Day in 2005, beaten and bloodied lying next to each other. Previous DNA from semen and fingernail scrapings found on Laura did not match Hobbs’ DNA, but he was still held and prosecutors pushed for the death penalty.
Judge Foreman set a July 21 hearing to discuss how the case will proceed. Hobbs’ October 6 court date is still intact.