The infamous 1993 Bucktown killer says he deserves a second chance – NBC Chicago
It was a tragic murder case: the story of a thriving prep school graduate who had everything to hope for in his life. Instead, Andrew Suh said he was trapped in a crime that ended a life and ruined his own.
The murder of nightclub owner Robert O’Dubaine rocked Chicago in 1993. Suh was convicted of the murder, but now his lawyer Alicia Hawley argues that a change in Illinois law could set him free.
“It’s the story of an immigrant family that had it all and it ended up being a tragedy,” Hawley said.
Suh was designed to replace his older brother who died in a tragic accident in South Korea. The family emigrated to Chicago in 1976 to start a new life, but at age 11, Suh’s father died of cancer and at age 13, her mother was murdered, stabbed more than three dozen times in her business. dry cleaning in Evanston.
“He had a very traumatic childhood and despite that he ended up being a good kid,” Hawley noted.
Hawley said that despite the loss of both parents, Suh flourished at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, where he was elected student body president and received a full scholarship in eastern Providence College.
That all changed in the fall of 1993, when Suh said her older sister put a gun in her hand and had hatred in her heart when she was 19.
“She’s an amazing person who has done a terrible thing,” Hawley remarked.
Hawley said Suh’s sister was a key suspect in their mother’s murder, but convinced Andrew that her boyfriend was the killer and must die. Suh pulled the trigger in a Bucktown garage on September 25, 1993, killing O’Dubaine, who was 31 at the time of the murder.
Suh was convicted of the murder and served 26 years of an 80-year sentence.
He is not on parole until 2032, but a new Illinois law states that if a person under the age of 21 commits murder, they may be eligible for release after 20 years. Suh’s lawyer plans to file a post-conviction court petition asking the court to apply the law to the case and release him.
“He received too long a sentence for the crime and the circumstances,” said Hawley.
Court records showed O’Dubaine was shot twice in the head at close range, raising questions about whether Suh should be paroled.
“I see their point of view. I understand it,” said Hawley but added: “He has remorse, he wants to do good in the world. He apologized to the family for all it’s worth . “
“I contacted them and apologized with all my heart,” said Suh, who spoke to Dateline correspondent Natalie Morales in her first TV interview.
When asked why he pulled the trigger not once but twice, he told Morales, “I think Catherine told me to make sure he’s dead.”
Her sister Catherine Suh is serving a life sentence for ordering the murder of her boyfriend, but no one has ever been charged with the murder of her mother in Evanston.
Retired Chicago Police Detective Bill Johnston, who was assigned to the murder, said it was clearly a crime of passion.
“To stab someone more than twenty times is rage,” he said.
Evanston Police investigated the murder and told reporters they considered Catherine Suh a possible suspect, but concluded she had an alibi.
“Robert O’Dubaine was Catherine’s only alibi. He covered her up and said he was with her, “Johnston said.” (But) according to a friend of her later, he was not with her at the time of the murder. “
Evanston Police recently assigned a new detective to investigate the case.
Catherine Suh did not respond to Dateline’s request for an interview, nor did Robert O’Dubaine’s family.
As for Andrew Suh, he has a clean criminal record and his lawyer claims to have the support of the Korean community who attended his hearings.
Hawley said a post-conviction petition will be filed in September.
The interview with Suh and the detectives who tracked down the clues to the murder airs on Dateline at 9 p.m. on Friday, July 16.