A Houston man who was convicted in a 2010 fatal stabbing will be exonerated as the investigators now believe that the crime was committed by someone else. According to international media reports, Lydell Grant was freed on bond in the month of November after a new analysis of DNA was found on the victim's fingernails which pointed to Grant's innocence in the killing of 28-year-old Aaron Scheerhoorn. On December 20, the authorities reportedly said that Grant has been eliminated as a suspect and another person named Jermarico Carter has been arrested in Scheerhoorn's murder.
Mike Ware, the executive director of the Innocence Project of Texas and one of Grant’s attorneys said, “We are relieved that Lydell’s wrongful conviction has had this important breakthrough. We look forward to his full exoneration at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals”.
According to international media reports, Grant has served seven years of a life sentence. However, the investigators later learned that Carter, 41, had been near the club where the victim sought help after being stabbed. According to the Houston police, Scheerhoorn was turned away from the club, the witnesses reportedly told the investigators that they saw Grant stab him several more times before fleeing and Grant was, therefore, convicted in 2012. But now, the police had tracked down Carter in Georgia and arrested him. Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg also said Carter has admitted to killing Scheerhoorn.
Houston police Chief Art Acevedo has also apologised to Grant and his family. He said in a statement that the new murder charge against Carter “will help bring closure to the families of Mr Grant and Mr Scheerhoorn”. He further added, “On behalf of the Houston Police Department, I want to extend an apology to Mr Grant and his family as they have waited for justice all these years”.
The new evidence will be presented before a judge in Houston and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals will reportedly have the final say in declaring Grant innocent murder. The reports further noted that the fingernails evidence was retested with more advanced technology and the retesting also resulted in a hit on the FBI's Combined DNA Index System that pointed to Carter. While speaking to an international media outlet, Mike ware said that he believes that the erroneous eyewitness identifications based on outdated and flawed techniques used by investigators helped to wrongly convict Grant and the mistaken eyewitnesses identifications contributed further to the case.