DNA Evidence Sets Texoma Man Free - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

DNA Evidence Sets Texoma Man Free

There are new developments in the case surrounding a Texoma native once accused of murder.  After five years behind bars former Wichitan Jerry Hobbs is free.  He'd been there since his 8-year-old daughter and friend were found murdered in Zion, Illinois.

Recent DNA tests in the case point to another man who is currently in jail in Virginia.  Although charges against Hobbs have been dropped, attorneys say the case is far from over.

Five years ago Jerry Hobbs called police after he found the bodies of his daughter Laura and her friend, Krystal Tobias brutally murdered in the woods.  He's been in custody since then.  Recent DNA evidence points to another man, Jorge Torrez.

Illinois State's Attorney Michael Waller says the investigation was handled in good faith, despite the recent DNA discovery.

"Obviously it was a red flag that we needed to, and, that's why we put it in the database.  It wasn't necessarily linked to the crime," he said.

Prosecutors cited a video-taped confession from Hobbs in 2005 as evidence.  Hobbs attorneys have said all along that his confession was coerced.  He pleaded not guilty to the crimes.

"I spoke to him in the jail and the first thing that he said was not, 'get me out of here,' it was, 'make sure that we do justice for Laura,'" said Hobbs' Attorney Keith Grant.

Hobbs had been released from jail in Wichita County for aggravated assault just one month before his daughters murder.  His attorney says Hobbs has been innocent of his daughter's murder all along.

"We cannot forget that throughout this, from the day he was first questioned by the police until right now today, Jerry Hobbs has never been anything other than a grieving father," Grant said.

Prosecutors say the evidence needs to be re-examined and witnesses re-interviewed.  They also say Torrez' DNA at the scene of the crime does not automatically indicate him as the killer.

A status hearing is scheduled for tomorrow in the case.  We've also learned Jerry Hobbs is on his way back to Wichita Falls.

Spencer Blake, Newschannel 6.

  • News HeadlinesNewsMore>>

  • Fake quake: Report of major California temblor a false alarm

    Fake quake: Report of major California temblor a false alarm

    Wednesday, June 21 2017 8:31 PM EDT2017-06-22 00:31:24 GMT
    Thursday, June 22 2017 6:41 AM EDT2017-06-22 10:41:29 GMT

    A report of a major earthquake off the California coast has turned out to be a false alarm based on a quake from 1925.

    A report of a major earthquake off the California coast has turned out to be a false alarm based on a quake from 1925.

  • US officials underscore Russia threat to 2016 elections

    US officials underscore Russia threat to 2016 elections

    Wednesday, June 21 2017 3:58 AM EDT2017-06-21 07:58:26 GMT
    Thursday, June 22 2017 5:40 AM EDT2017-06-22 09:40:43 GMT
    Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is set to testify at a House intelligence committee hearing as the panel presses ahead with its investigation of Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.
    Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is set to testify at a House intelligence committee hearing as the panel presses ahead with its investigation of Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.
  • Extreme Yo-Yo takes over the Wichita Falls Public Library

    Extreme Yo-Yo takes over the Wichita Falls Public Library

    Thursday, June 22 2017 12:01 AM EDT2017-06-22 04:01:10 GMT
    (Source:KAUZ)(Source:KAUZ)

    An Extreme Yo-Yo show took over the  Wichita Falls Public Library Wednesday afternoon.

    An Extreme Yo-Yo show took over the  Wichita Falls Public Library Wednesday afternoon.

Powered by Frankly