- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 11, 2005

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — The father of an 8-year-old girl who was slain along with her best friend admitted to authorities that he was the killer, saying he was angry at his daughter for taking money, authorities said yesterday.

A judge denied bond for Jerry Hobbs after prosecutors described a videotaped interview in court in which they said he told investigators he stabbed the girls to death.

Hobbs’ daughter, Laura, and her friend Krystal Tobias, 9, were found dead Monday in a park in Zion, the day after they vanished.

The 34-year-old father, who had been released from a Texas prison last month, told investigators he was angry at Laura when he tracked her and Krystal in the wooded park, punched her and then killed both girls, prosecutors said.

Hobbs stared at the floor as Assistant Lake County State’s Attorney Jeff Pavletic described the case against him.

“This was a slaughter of two little girls,” Mr. Pavletic said.

Hobbs led police to the bodies Monday morning, claiming he had come across them off the bike path while searching for his missing daughter. In videotaped interviews over the next two days, prosecutors say, Hobbs told them that he killed both girls after Laura refused to leave the park and that he then dragged their bodies into the woods.

Mr. Pavletic said Hobbs told investigators he thought Laura had stolen money from her mother. She had been grounded, but her mother let her go out and play on Sunday, Mother’s Day.

Hobbs told investigators he was angry that Laura had gone out and went looking for her, authorities said. He told Laura to go home but she refused, so he punched her for disobeying, Mr. Pavletic said. Krystal then pulled out a potato knife to try to defend her friend, and he attacked her as well, taking the knife away and stabbing both girls, according to the interviews.

He dragged them into the woods and left them face up, side by side, Mr. Pavletic said.

“It was a brutal beating, repeated punching of the two little girls and then repeated stabs. It’s pretty horrible,” Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Waller said.

He said after the hearing that he didn’t think Krystal had brought the knife, but that was what Hobbs had told investigators in the interviews and written statements.

Mr. Waller told NBC’s “Today” show earlier yesterday that Hobbs had showed a lack of emotion and that “things didn’t add up” in his interviews with police.

Hobbs has an extensive criminal history dating to 1990 in Texas, including arrests for assault and resisting arrest, according to Texas Department of Public Safety records.

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