New DNA testing in a 2010 Houston murder case has led to the exoneration of one man — after nine years behind bars — and the arrest of another.
Lydell Grant, 43, was found guilty of stabbing 28-year-old Aaron Scheerhoorn to death in the vicinity of a nightclub on the sworn testimony of multiple witnesses, according to reports. He was cleared last month — and released from prison — after DNA obtained from Sheerhorn’s fingernails was tested, using new technology. He was serving a life sentence.
On Thursday, Jermarico Carter, 41, was charged with the murder after the same DNA linked him to the crime. Investigators got a match to his DNA using an FBI database containing the DNA of convicted criminals, Fox 26 Houston reported Sunday.
“On behalf of the Houston Police Department, I want to extend an apology to Mr. Grant and his family as they have
FILE – In this Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019 file photo, Lydell Grant smiles in court after he was ordered to be released on bond in Houston. He was cleared Friday by authorities in the death of 28-year-old Aaron Scheerhoorn. New evidence has pointed to 41-year-old Jermarico Carter as the killer. Carter was arrested Thursday in Georgia. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)
waited for justice all these years,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Friday on Twitter.
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Acevedo said Carter “has recently confessed to his role in Mr. Scheerhoorn’s killing.”
Carter was in custody in Georgia on unrelated charges, the chief said.
Grant said Saturday that he wasn’t mad at Grant for sitting in jail for a crime he committed, Fox 26 reported.
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“I’m not mad at him at all,” he said, according to the station. “I forgive him because he know now what he did.”
The station reported that as of Saturday Grant no longer had to wear an ankle monitor or abide by a curfew.
Houston prosecutors said they will move for Grant’s formal exoneration before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
Grant’s lawyer Mike Ware of the Innocence Project of Texas was quoted by The Associated Press as saying that he believes erroneous witness identifications based on outdated and flawed techniques used by detectives helped to wrongly convict his client.
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Mistaken witness identifications contributed to more than 70 percent of the more than 360 wrongful convictions in the U.S. that have been overturned by post-conviction DNA evidence, according to the Innocence Project.