Jorge “George” Torrez, a Marine who’s being held at the Arlington County Detention Center on charges of abduction and rape, has been linked via DNA to a double homicide outside Chicago, his attorney confirmed to ARLnow.com today.
Attorney Denman Rucker said he was contacted by investigators but had no further information about how the DNA test was performed or whether the test was “legitimate.”
The crime that Torrez is being linked to occurred in 2005.
Laura Hobbs and Krystal Tobias, ages 8 and 9, were found repeatedly stabbed in a park in the lakeside city of Zion, Ill. Jerry Hobbs, Laura’s, confessed to the crime after a 20-hour interrogation, but later said the confession of coerced, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Prosecutors pressed the case against Hobbs despite the fact that his DNA did not match semen found on one of the girls’ body and clothing. He has been held in jail for five years. The DNA was matched to a new suspect last month, prosecutors told the Tribune.
Torrez’s sister, who lives in Zion, says investigators told her that evidence points to her brother. Sara Torrez says Jorge, 21, was friends with Tobias’ brother, but says she believes her brother is innocent.
So far, Torrez has not been charged in connection with the murders. Arlington County authorities have been alerted to the DNA link and are following the case.
In Illinois, meanwhile, a court hearing that may result in Hobbs’ release has been set for July 21.
The Zion murders achieved infamy in Chicago and received national media attention. In an 2005 interview with Greta Van Susteren of Fox News Channel, Lake County, Ill. prosecutor Michael Waller defended the prosecution of Hobbs even though there were inconsistencies with his confession.
“It’s not unusual to have a defendant give untruths in a statement where he admits his guilt. It’s something we deal with all the time,” he said.
Waller also explained why Sheila Hollabaugh, the mother of Laura Hobbs, maintained that her boyfriend was innocent.
“It’s not unusual for the girlfriend or the wife to stick with the defendant,” Waller said. “If that happens in this case, you know, I won’t be surprised.”
It’s not easy being a police officer in Arlington. The truly interesting or exciting calls are few and far between. More often than not, you’re stuck responding to petty neighborhood disputes and false burglar alarms. And, once in a while, some a-hole suspected of firing off illegal fireworks from his apartment slams a door on your hand on the Fourth of July.
The Arlington County Crime Report lists five cases of assault on police that occurred during the past two weeks. We’re told the officer who had the door slammed on his hand did not suffer any permanent injuries.
ASSAULT ON POLICE-ARREST 07/05/10, 1000 block of S. Walter Reed Drive. On July 4 at 11 pm, police responded to an apartment to assist county fire marshals. A subject assaulted an officer by slamming a door on the officer’s hand. David Chandler, 29, of Arlington, was charged with Assault on Law Enforcement. He was held on a $5,000 bond.
ASSAULT ON POLICE-ARREST 06/24/10, 1500 block of Wilson Boulevard. On June 24 at 8:30 pm, an officer located a suspect in a larceny. The suspect assaulted the officer while being taken into custody. Dillard Burgess, 50, of no fixed address, was charged with Assault on Law Enforcement, Assault and Battery and Grand Larceny. He was held without bond.
ASSAULT ON POLICE-ARREST 06/28/10, 3900 block of Campbell Avenue. On June 28 at 8 pm, a female subject was arrested for being drunk in public. During the detention, she kicked the officer several times. Diana Firth, 39, of Arlington, was charged with Assault on a Police Officer and Drunk in Public. She was held until sober.
ASSAULT ON POLICE-ARREST 07/01/10, 3700 block of Columbia Pike. On July 1 at 12:00 am, while being detained for public intoxication, a suspect bit an officer. Domingo Chicas-Amaya, 26, of Alexandria, was charged with Assault on a Police Officer and Drunk in Public. He was held on a $3,500 bond.
ASSAULT ON POLICE-ARREST 07/05/10, 2100 block of S. Monroe Street. On July 5 at 3:30 am, a man assaulted an officer investigating a call about disorderly behavior. Talifferro Gatling, 37, of Waldorf, MD, was charged with Assault on Law Enforcement, Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest. He was held without bond.
The full crime report, after the jump.
The Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network has stepped up some of its services in response to the dangerously hot weather.
Executive Director Kathy Sibert says volunteers have been visiting homeless camps in Arlington and handing out ice water-filled water bottles donated by Harris Teeter. A-SPAN has also been opening its drop-in center in Shirlington at 9:00 a.m. instead of the usual 1:00 p.m. And they’re handing out additional water to the 90 people who usually show up for dinner.
Sibert says days like today demonstrate the need for a year-round homeless shelter. Currently, the county only operates an emergency winter shelter.
“Homeless people don’t just exist in the winter, it’s a year-round issue,” Sibert said.
The organizers of the Clarendon Farmers Market are hoping to move on from a pricing dispute that exploded into a full-blown, televised controversy last week.
The market decided to prohibit a vendor, C&T Fruits and Vegetables, from returning this week after other vendors complained about C&T’s low prices and questionable product sourcing. They said C&T’s ability to sell off-season produce proves that they broke market rules that require all produce be locally-grown by the seller.
The dispute became public when a TV reporter showed up with camera in tow and began asking people if they thought a vendor should be expelled for having low prices (spoiler: most people said they did not have a problem with the low prices).
In a press release that didn’t explicitly address the controversy, the Clarendon Alliance, which runs the market, noted that “All production locations must be within a 125-mile radius of Washington, D.C. A producer may not sell items purchased from another farm or supplier… The Clarendon Alliance reserves the right to reject applications from operations where the applicant’s participation in production is unclear.”
The market is held outside the Clarendon Metro every Wednesday from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.
A bill now before congress contains a provision, inserted at the behest of Western lawmakers like Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), that would allow for regular non-stop flights from Reagan National Airport to cities like Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Currently, federal regulations ban most flights beyond a 1,250 mile perimeter. The rule is meant to protect local communities from the noise and air pollution produced by the larger planes needed for cross-country flight.
The Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority, Virgina Senators Webb and Warner, and local community groups have come out against the proposed rule change, the Washington Post reports.
Arlington Woman Injured in N.Y. Police Car Accident — An Arlington woman was seriously injured while bicycling Monday morning in Whitney Point, N.Y. Police say the woman, 47-year-old Mary Smith of Arlington, ignored a stop sign and ran into a police cruiser that was turning left in an intersection. Smith hit the cruiser’s windshield and suffered head and neck injuries. More from WBGH in Binghamton, N.Y.
Another Arlington Cemetery Revelation — In 2008, an Arlington National Cemetery spokesperson was fired after she brought concerns about numerous problems at the cemetery to a top local Army commander, according to an internal document obtained by Salon.com. The revelation contradicts testimony by Army Secretary John McHugh, who told the House Armed Services Committee that Army brass was unaware of the severe mismanagement at the nation’s most sacred military burial ground.
Marine Corps Marathon Registration Still Available — Back in April, registration for this year’s Marine Corps Marathon sold out within six days. But in addition to the initial 30,000 slots, several thousand slots are still available for anyone willing to help out one of the marathon’s charity partners. The marathon provides bibs to more than 80 charities. Anyone who missed the initial registration can get a bib from one of the charities, in exchange for a commitment to meet certain fundraising requirements and goals.