HOUSTON – Lydell Grant was released from custody on bail Tuesday after new DNA evidence raised questions about his conviction in the 2010 Montrose murder of Aaron Scheerhoorn.
“I feel free now. It was a long time coming,” Grant said after he stepped out of the Harris County Jail holding his mother’s hand. “I always claimed my innocence. I thank God (for) the Innocence Project. They believed in me. They took my case and they worked it.”
Grant was convicted of first-degree murder in 2012 and sentenced to life in prison. In June, officials retested a DNA sample that had inconclusive results a decade ago. This time, the results were definite.
“Based on the likelihood ratio result, (defendant) Lydell Grant is excluded as a contributor to this profile,” officials wrote in a document filed in court.
This new evidence raised sufficient questions in Grant’s conviction for the Harris County District Attorney, Kim Ogg, to support the defense’s request for bond.
“Based on the new DNA evidence, the District Attorney’s Office believes a bond with reasonable conditions is appropriate in this specific case while the office continues its actual innocence investigation,” officials from Ogg’s office wrote in a Monday evening press release.
Tuesday morning, a district judge granted him a $100,000 bond.
“The last 9 years...man...feels like an animal in a cage. Especially knowing that I didn’t do it," Grant said to media on the steps of the jail. "Knowing that the actual killer was still roaming the streets. Knowing that my family was suffering. It was hard. But with God, I gotta keep saying, with God, it was all, all good.”
Grant says he still has faith that the justice system “will do the right thing,” in his case.
“I want to believe and I really wish the Harris County District Attorney’s Office would just go ahead and exonerate me because the evidence and the investigation of the case it proves itself,” he said. “I hope that the killer is apprehended. I never knew Aaron...never seen him a day in my life, never had an encounter with him. But the justice system the district attorney’s office, the prosecutor, she painted a big picture for the jury and they believed her lies and they convicted me wrongfully."
As he heads home for Thanksgiving, he said he plans on eating a lot of turkey.
See Grant’s full statement in the video below: