A Houston man who was wrongfully convicted of a 2010 murder has been cleared of the crime by Texas’ highest criminal court. According to ABC13, after discovering DNA at the scene, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals determined that Lydell Grant was “actually innocent.”
In 2010, 28-year-old Aaron Scheerhoorn was stabbed outside of a bar in Montrose, Houston. The trial for his murder saw six bystanders testify against Grant, who was found guilty of his murder in 2012. He was initially sentenced to life, but DNA discovered at the scene was retested with more advanced technology, connecting investigators to another man. Grant was subsequently freed from prison.
Jermarico Carter was arrested in connection with Scheerhoorn’s death. He reportedly confessed to the killing and is currently in prison where he is awaiting trial.
“The exoneration of innocent individuals is as important as the conviction of guilty ones,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement on Wednesday (May 19). “The highest responsibility of a prosecutor is to see that justice is done.”
Despite getting his freedom, Grant patiently awaited news of his exoneration in the years following his release.
“Being locked up, if I didn’t learn anything else, I learned how to have patience,” Grant previously told ABC News. “Whatever the judicial system is trying to do, whatever they have in mind to do, it’s not going to work if it’s not the right thing.”
In the wake of the court’s announcement, however, he rejoiced and thanked God, admitting that he once thought he would take his last breaths in jail. “I knew this day was going to come and I just didn’t know when,” said Grant.
Following the ruling by Texas’ appeals court, Grant can now apply for $80,000 in state compensation for every year he served behind bars.