(NBC News) — A Chicago man who spent nearly two decades behind bars for murder over a deadly 2003 shooting has been released years after his identical twin confessed to the crime.

An emotional Kevin Dugar broke down into tears as he was released from the Cook County jail on Tuesday night and reunited with his loved ones as a free man, his lawyer Ronald Safer told NBC News on Friday.

“The judge granted his release pending trial on a signature bond and he walked out into the open air and breathed his first breaths as a free man in almost 20 years,” Safer said. “It was gratifying to watch his tears roll down his cheeks and their cheeks before (their tears) froze on their faces because it was about 7 below.”

Dugar had spent nearly 20 years in jail after he was convicted in the deadly 2003 shooting of a rival gang member. 

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