Illinois Man Files Wrongful Imprisonment Lawsuit Against Lake County

12/03/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, US // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

Lake County, IL—A wrongfully incarcerated man, who was released from prison five years after he was allegedly pressured into signing a false confession, filed a wrongful imprisonment lawsuit against Lake County. According to a Dec. 2, 2010 WLS report, Jerry Hobbs was charged with the murder of his 8-year-old daughter and her friend, although DNA evidence suggests it was another man who committed the heinous crimes.

Jerry Hobbs claims he spent five years in prison after investigators used both physical and psychological tactics to manipulate him into signing a false confession in 2005. Hobbs apparently pleaded guilty in connection with the malicious Zion stabbings of his daughter, Laura, 8, and her friend, Krystal Tobias.

Hobbs contended a total of nine investigators from the Waukegan, Zion and Vernon Hills police departments interrogated him for 20 hours. During that span of time, he was allegedly punched in the head, pressured and threatened until he signed the bogus confession.

The lawsuit also claims detectives were aware in 2006 that the DNA found at the crime scene did not belong to him, but he wasn’t cleared of any wrongdoing until 2009.

“I asked for a lawyer twice, and I tried to leave, and they wouldn’t let me. So I just gave them what they wanted,” said Hobbs, noting, “My kids, they’re not kids anymore. They’re half-grown. It’s five years I missed of their life.”

According to an attorney representing Hobbs in the case, “They, in the public eye, converted this good and decent man from a loving father that he is and was into a public monster.”

The DNA evidence linked the murders to a man identified as Jorge Torrez. Though Torrez was jailed on violent assault charges in Virginia, officials have yet to prosecute him in connection with the Zion slayings.

The plaintiff’s attorney asked, “Why was he allowed to be free for another five years? … Why was he allowed to go down to Virginia and attack these other woman?”

Although the lawyer said the lawsuit is seeking “a lot of money,” Hobbs insisted the pending litigation was not about that. Hobbs maintained, “They could never make up what I lost, what they took from me.”

Defendants named in the suit include several members of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, which consisted of detectives from the Waukegan, Zion and Vernon Hills police departments. None of the defendants were available for comment.

The wrongful imprisonment case is underway.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan– Legal News for Illinois Criminal Lawyers.

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Url: Sandra Quinlan: West Palm Beach Injury News