A new DNA test of a victim's fingernail from a 2010 murder has freed one man from prison after seven years and led Houston authorities to arrest another suspect in Georgia who has confessed to the killing, according to authorities.
Lydell Grant, 42, who was serving a life sentence, was freed on bond last month after the new evidence surfaced. Houston District Attorney Kim Ogg said Friday that Grant was found innocent of killing 28-year-old Aaron Scheerhoorn outside a Houston club.
The new test, using more advanced DNA technology, not only cleared Grant but resulted in a hit on the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System that pointed to 41-year-old Jermarico Carter.
Carter was arrested Thursday in Georgia and confessed to the killing, Ogg said.
“The highest responsibility of a prosecutor is to see that justice is done and ensuring that we have the correct individual charged is a baseline responsibility,” Ogg said in a statement.
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The district attorney said Houston police had determined that Carter was also in the vicinity of the Houston club where Scheerhoorn had sought help after being stabbed. Police said Scheerhoorn was turned away from the club.
Grant was convicted in 2012 after six eyewitnesses testified they saw him stab Scheerhoorn outside Blur Bar, according to the Houston Chronicle.
“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,” said Mike Ware, executive director of the Innocence Project of Texas and one of Grant’s attorneys.
Houston police Chief Art Acevedo said the new murder charge against Carter “will help bring closure to the families of Mr. Grant and Mr. Scheerhoorn.”
“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,” Acevedo said in a statement.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: DNA test from Texas murder frees Lydell Grant, leads to arrest