Houston Man Found 'Actually Innocent' After 2012 Murder Conviction
Lydell Grant was declared innocent after being convicted of murder in 2012. He can now apply for $80,000 in compensation for each year he was imprisoned.
Image via Getty/David McNew
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals declared Wednesday that Lydell Grant is “actually innocent” after he was convicted of murder in 2012, Click2Houston reports.
Grant was arrested in 2010 for his alleged role in the fatal stabbing of Aaron Scheerhoorn outside a Houston nightclub. He was convicted two years later, and sentenced to life in prison.
Grant maintained his innocence even as six eyewitnesses picked him in a photo lineup as the individual responsible for Scheerhoorn’s death. Earlier this year, newly-released court documents revealed that one of those eyewitnesses told police he wasn’t sure that Grant was the actual suspect, but after being told to look again, he was chosen.
After the Innocence Project of Texas agreed to take Grant’s case, he was released on bond in 2019. That same year, DNA evidence led investigators to a new suspect, and exonerated Grant. The Houston Police Department, the Harris County district attorney’s office, and the trial judge all agreed that Grant was innocent, so all that was left was the final say from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
The CCA dragged its feet on officially declaring Grant a free man, initially refusing to hear his case before sending it back several times for further information. The CCA finally said he was innocent yesterday, citing “clear and convincing evidence.”
Grant can now apply for $80,000 in state compensation for each year he was wrongfully imprisoned. “I don’t ask for no sympathy. I don’t ask for anyone to feel sorry for me because I am strong,” Grant said in a news conference from his home.
Following his release, Grant reconnected with his family and studied audio engineering at Houston’s American InterContinental University. "My next step is going back to school and getting a degree in my passion and what I have a passion to do in life and that is audio engineering,” Grant said, adding that he plans on writing a book about his time dealing with the court system and his wrongful conviction.