In November 1985, Brian Dugan, who was already in jail and being tried for the murder of a seven-year-old girl and a 27-year-old woman, confessed to the crime through his attorney. Dugan plea-bargained his charges to life imprisonment.
In 1987, the charges against Buckley were dismissed by a judge.
On January 19, 1988 the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the conviction of Cruz and Hernandez because the two did not have separate trials. Both were retried despite public pressure on the DuPage State's Attorney's office to pursue the Dugan confession. Cruz was convicted in his second trial in February 1990. The second trial of Hernandez ended in a hung jury in May 1990; after his third trial, Hernandez was convicted and sentenced to 80 years in prison on May 17, 1991.
Meanwhile, Cruz had appealed. In December, 1992, his second conviction was upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court, but in May 1993 the court agreed to rehear the case, and on July 14, 1994 Cruz was ordered a third trial.
During his third trial, a sheriff's lieutenant reversed his testimony, and Cruz was acquitted in November 1995. A state investigator was appointed to review the recanted testimony. In December 1995, charges against Hernandez were dismissed by the State's Attorney.
Cruz, Hernandez and Buckley reached a $3.5 million civil settlement with DuPage County for their wrongful prosecution on Sept. 26, 2000.
In November 2005, Dugan was indicted for the Nicarico murder. As of July 2007, pre-trial evidentiary hearings continue.
A Lifetime of Violence Brian Dugan Stands Accused of Abducting, Raping and Murdering Jeanine Nicarico, but His Life of Crime Goes Much Deeper
Nov 30, 2005; Byline: Christy Gutowski Daily Herald Legal Affairs Writer The scruffy, brown-haired teen approached 10-year-old Barbara and...