A Texas man who was recentlyon bond will likely be exonerated following a new arrest in the 2010 stabbing he was found guilty of in 2010. Jermarico Carter, 41, was arrested and charged on Thursday after DNA evidence suggested he was responsible for the killings that landed Lydell Grant a life sentence.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said Carter, who was apprehended in Georgia, confessed to the killing shortly after being arrested.
"We look forward to presenting this new evidence in court and obtaining justice for Scheerhoorn's family," Ogg said. "We will begin the exoneration process for Lydell Grant immediately."
Grant, 42, was convicted in 2012 of murdering 28-year-old Aaron Scheerhoorn in 2010. Grant always maintained his innocence and was released from prison in Houston on November 26 after being granted a $100,000 bond while prosecutors reexamined his case. Newly tested DNA from the victim showed no trace of Grant but did result in a hit on the FBI's Combined DNA Index System which implicated Carter.
"We are relieved that Lydell's wrongful conviction has had this important breakthrough," Grant's lawyer and executive director of the Innocence Project of Texas Mike Ware said in a statement. "We look forward to his full exoneration at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals."
"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," Houston Chief of Police Art Acevedo said Friday in a statement. "Furthermore, we would like to thank the Innocence Project and the Harris County District Attorney's Office for their diligence and relentless pursuit of justice. We firmly believe the charges being filed on this second suspect, now linked by DNA and additional testing, will help bring closure to the families of Mr. Grant and Mr. Scheerhorn."
Scheerhorn was killed in 2010 after being stabbed in the parking lot outside a Houston night club. Police say Scheerhoorn ran to the club looking for help, but was turned away by the bouncer and stabbed several more times in front of dozens of witnesses.
Grant was arrested five days later during a traffic stop when police discovered he was driving with a suspended license. After receiving a Crime Stoppers tip, police labeled him as a suspect in the stabbing, and six witnesses from outside the nightclub identified Grant's picture in a photo lineup.
Grant had been serving a life sentence when he was granted bail in November. Until officially exonerated, Grant is still technically out on bond, and must continue to comply with the conditions of his release, which include wearing an electronic ankle monitor.