Murder Charges Dropped Against Lynwood Cop

UPDATED: 10/12/10 10:09 p.m.

JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) – Murder charges were dropped against a Lynwood police officer accused of a deadly two-state shooting spree.

Brian Dorian had pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Will County court earlier Tuesday. He had been charged in the shooting death of Rolando Alonso, 45, last week. Police have said the man who shot and killed Alonso at a construction site in rural Beecher in Will County also shot and critically wounded 19-year-old Joshua Garza at the scene, and then later shot and injured 62-year-old farmer Keith Dahl in Lowell, Ind.

On Tuesday evening, Dorian was brought to the Will County Sheriff Department’s investigations division in Joliet with his attorneys, Bob Odekirk and Dave Carlson.

They met with prosecutors and investigators, who were able to verify that Dorian was using his computer until at least 11 a.m. the day of the shootings, Odekirk said. The first shooting occurred about 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 5.

Sheriff Paul Kaupas and State’s Attorney James Glasgow held a press conference to announce the news.

“Based on the evidence that we have developed today, it would’ve been physically impossible for Brian Dorian to have committed this crime,” said Glasgow.

“Physically impossible” because further examination of Dorian’s home computer clears him.

“Late this afternoon, we received some computer forensic information that places Brian Dorian in his home at the time of the Beecher shootings,” said Glasgow.

But Kristina Garza, the aunt of 19-year-old Joshua Garza injured in the Beecher shooting, told CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot, she is doubtful about Dorian’s computer alibi.

“My computer here in my office is on 24-7. And it’s my username, my password, but my assistant uses it. And I don’t even touch it. But if you were to look at it, it would appear that Kristina Garza is on the computer 24-7. So I’m not satisfied with that explanation,” said Garza.

Garza is hoping her nephew Joshua, who is still in the hospital recovering from the shooting, can identify the shooter.

“If he says this is not the person, then Brian Dorian got the justice that he hoped for,” said Garza. “But if Joshua, on the other hand, says he’s absolutely 100 percent convinced, then Brian Dorian needs to hire civil counsel because we will pursue a civil lawsuit immediately. Because I will go to hell and back to support Joshua – absolutely.”

Glasgow offered Dorian no apology Tuesday night, saying the other evidence investigators had, including a witness who saw the shooting in Beecher, pointed to Dorian.

“If you look at all of the evidence that pointed towards him, it’s uncanny,” said Glasgow. “In this particular case, I guess Brian Dorian can thank god for computer technology.”

At one point though, Glasgow and Kaupas seemed to be at odds over just how strong their case was.

“We were on the fence on this case. We were letting the evidence take us where we were supposed to go, and we had questions in our own mind,” said Kaupas.

“When we charged this case, we were not on the fence,” said Glasgow. “In addition to the positive identification of a living eyewitness who watched the shootings happen, we also had a description of the truck that matched.”

Still tonight, they conceded they charged the wrong guy and hoped Dorian would understand.

“This is a terribly tragic case. I feel horrible that Brian Dorian went through this. I certainly would apologize for any inconvenience that he has suffered,” said Glasgow. “But at the same time, he is a police officer, and if he were in our shoes, and he had a suspect under these circumstances, Brian Dorian would have acted the same way.”

Right from the start, Brian Dorian’s father told CBS 2 that authorities had the wrong man in custody, and his son was innocent. Tonight, John Dorian says he’s relieved his son is finally being released. But he’s also angry.

“For a policeman to be put in jail and being innocent, emotionally it takes a lot out of you,” said John Dorian, Brian’s father. “There’s a miscarriage of justice, a defamation of character and false arrest.”

The Lynwood Police Department issued the following statement Tuesday night: “Officer Dorian’s reputation has been damaged, and his family and fellow officers have been dragged through the mud.”

Shooting victim Rolando Alonso’s sister-in-law, Laura Gonzalez, reacted to news of Dorian’s release by phone Tuesday night.

“We cannot believe they caught the wrong guy. They stopped looking and now this guy is gone. We thought they had the right guy but now we’re scared now what’s going to happen. Now this guy can hurt someone else,” Gonzalez told CBS 2.

This is not the first time the Will County Sheriff’s Department has been the subject of scrutiny. Earlier this year, a man was charged for the 2004 murder of 3-year-old Riley Fox. Scott Wayne Eby was charged after evidence that had been overlooked for years came to light.

Initially, five months after Riley’s murder, her father, Kevin Fox, was arrested by Will County Sheriff’s police on murder charges.

Authorities said at the time that Fox told investigators he decided to make his daughter’s death look like an abduction after he thought he accidentally killed her by hitting her in the head with a door.

But Fox claimed detectives coerced him into saying he had hit Riley’s head, accidentally causing her death.

Fox was charged with her rape and murder, and spent eight months in jail before DNA testing — obtained by his own defense team — proved he did not sexually assault Riley.

He was released on June 17, 2005, and the case went unsolved for nearly five years.

“They’re just astounded,” said Fox family attorney Kathleen Zellner in June. “He’s extremely angry. For him, to realize he could have died on death row and this is what they were doing with the evidence, it’s pretty hard to wrap your mind around it.”

A judge approved a personal recognizance bond, freeing Brian Dorian Tuesday night. He will return to court Wednesday at 9 a.m. so charges can officially be dropped.

While the news is good for Dorian and his many supporters, it comes with bad news for residents: The man responsible for the shooting spree is still on the loose.

CBS 2’s Jim Williams, Suzanne Le Mignot and the Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

  • TIM

    Good luck in trying to (attempt) repairing what his life will be from now on. The level of stupidy exceeds anything done before. But then again the cops had the wrong adresss from a dependable source last week breaking down an elderly couples home. So I guess this would be next.

  • HD

    Dorian has hit the lottery. Defamation of character lawsuit.

  • sariino

    and how does inspector closeau figure this one out? that only HE could be at the computer at 11am? sounds like every other screwed up investigation in will county.

  • blkhawk

    to bad, corrupt returns to street

  • sariino

    stupid stupid will county. might as well let drew peterson go too

  • sarino

    you mean to tell me that an eyewitness account folds in the face of “evidence” that he was on his computer at 11am?

    • Veronica K

      you heard the man…they had E V I D E N C E…..

  • chicagomom

    Wow, did they have *any* evidence when they arrested him? Sounds like a bunch of morons running the show there.

  • blkhawk

    Ill sign on now, and let me know if i’m still stting here in an hour. The corrupt brotherhood lives on !

    • Veronica K

      blkhawk-that’s hilarious! Seriously, are they for real?? Be afraid….be very afraid…..

    • tnayrbt

      That is what forensics are for, they will rip that computer apart and be able to determine if the computer was at idle or if there was any activity, down to what key and so on! THINK before you SPEAK! Eveyone is quict to pass judgement on someone when they dont know the person, INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY! Everyone has that right!!!

  • blkhawk

    if he was on his computer, then why was he puuled over in Indiana at gun point ? Something smells corrupt.

  • sarino

    of course, will county, come for place to murder someone

  • rpraider

    The bad Cop brotherhood wins again ! just because you sign on doesn’t mean you’er there .

  • blkhawk

    One person picked Dorian out from lineup. Now no one has any proof or lineup identication of Drew Peterson. He should also be freed then also.

  • sarino

    unless they have him cam to cam with someone. only way

  • sarino

    only way is to have him cam to cam with someone at that exact time

  • blkhawk

    Wonder if the man from Indiana could identify him , as one in Illinois did ? Would that any difference at this point ?

    • DeRock

      It might help for the case in Indiana, but it wouldn’t matter for the Illinois case as the victim in Indiana was not at the scene of the first shooting. I’m really wondering what the actual evidence of him being on the computer would be. It’s easy to fake things as well as someone else being on it. That isn’t good enough for anyone to just instantly drop charges.

  • sarino

    what about the other poor girl lisa stebic that was murdered from plainfield. no one ever caught there either, then there is the little girl riley fox,. they tried to pin it on the dad and had to let him go. i think something really bad is going on in will county.

  • Imaginethis

    Something seems very weird here. Very weird. Dorian was allegedly on his computer at 11 a.m. on the day of the attacks. Do authorities KNOW for a FACT it was him on the computer and not someone else? How could you PROVE you were on your computer at a particular time? It could be someone else on your computer that you allowed to use it, etc. The man who survived the attack identified Dorian and he (Dorian) was stopped by authorities, flashed his badge, then they let him go only to pick him up later and arrest him. And now, he apparently didn’t do it. What? I repeat, something here is not adding up. In short, this one stinks!

  • blkhawk

    I completey are Imanginethis !

  • blkhawk

    I competely agree Imangine this….sorry type o’s

  • Lori

    OK Well obviously in this country it’s guilty until proven innocent!! I don’t agree with the comment that someone identified him in a line up….because they couldn’t tell if the truck was a Ford or a Chevy, and they didn’t know if it was white, light gray, or light blue???? I know the difference between a Ford and a Chevy!! And I understand the people were really traumatized….so how could they I.D. a person if they can’t I.D. a vehicle? I think we are missing a few important facts..#1 the shooter is still at large and #2 obviously our Justice system is broken in this country!

    • Burbs

      When someone is victimized by another person, that individual’s is burned into your memory. Much more so than the vehicle they drove off in. I’ve been there. By the time you even realize they are driving away, you are too shocked to notice the car. But their face stays with you for years.

      • Lori

        I am truly sorry for any misfortune in your life…..Now with that being said I understand what you are saying to me but the sketches they have don’t look anything like the man they arrested. Also the only reason i made the comment about the vehicle is because the Farmer that was shot, The shooter pulled up in his driveway and the farmer went to see what was going on. I’m sorry if I offended you that was not my intention.

  • Lori

    How about this…..Maybe the cops should have done their job and not put all this out in the media before they verified his Alibi!!! Sure bring him in and hold him until you can verify it, and knowing someone who knows him personally it wasn’t just that he was on his computer he was meeting a friend for coffee that morning!! If they would have done their job this poor guys life wouldn’t be ruined! Neither would his families! Just think about it….they can arrest anyone anytime obviously without any proof, Now that’s scary!

  • blkhawk

    I agree with you also Lori, but wouldn’t Lynwood police act the same way Will County has?

    • Lori

      Yes they probably would…and that is just how the system works I guess….. But seriously how scary they could put a bond on someone for 2.5 million without any solid evidence!

  • Special Forces

    I wonder if the family or friends of the kid that was killed in the auto accident that the cop was involved in had something to do with a frame-up.

    • larry

      Try not to be silly. You’re sick to even post that.

    • Lori

      I don’t think it’s sick that you posted that…..stranger things have happened.

      • sarino

        right, the family of that poor kid that died in the accident is going to go out and shoot innocent people, , kill one of them, wear a mask looking like this guy, and get him arrested? are you nuts lori, seriously? its not sick, its frigging moronic.

      • Lori

        OK Sarino….I didn’t say it was the family of the kid I just said stranger things have happened….Let me ask you this, have you followed this case from the beginning? Are you aware that he has received threatening letters, and that he had an ADT security system and 4 pit bulls?? Clearly someone was harassing him…Hey here’s a thought maybe it was some sicko that read it in the paper when it happened. LIKE I SAID STRANGER THINGS HAVE HAPPENED!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • sarino

      i hope you were not in the united states special forces. you are really a piece of work coming up with that

  • blkhawk

    I totally agree Lori. Point being most all police forces are reactionary to a high profile case, just ask Drew Peterson. They ( Will County ) has no evidence, only hear say, yet he sits in prison also. I feel for your family/brother and the all the victim’s. Its time for an overhaul and close look at ALL police departments, starting with maybe only College graduates being hired !

    • Lori

      I am not a family member just someone who knows someone who knows Brian…..And I’m glad he is being released!! Now maybe they can get the whacko who really did this!!

    • Mary

      so going to college makes you a good cop? That’s bull.

  • larry

    Due process sure is becoming fast nowadays. Wow, this is evidence and he’s free? I’m leaving my computer on forever from now on. If I’m issued a ticket, I’m using the defense that it wasn’t me because I was on my computer. If this guy isn’t a cop, he’s not free now. Book it. Ridiculous.

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