Austin Local News
Kelley Soon Eligible for State Compensation
Former Leander high school football player Greg Kelley has now been cleared of a 2014 child sexual assault conviction for which he spent three years behind bars on a 25-year sentence. Kelley was released on bond in 2017, but up until Wednesday, the possibility of returning to prison continued to loom large. Now, with the years-long saga at a close, Kelley and his attorney are preparing for the next steps.
According to attorney Keith Hampton, he will be pushing for an immediate formal hearing to have the indictment against Kelley dismissed. 45-days after that is complete, Kelley will then be eligible for around $250,000 in wrongful conviction compensation, as well as a fully paid tuition to any Texas college or university of his choice.
The monetary payout would be roughly $80,000 per year for each year he was in prison.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals cleared Kelley on Wednesday. In 2017, when Kelley was released to Williamson County on bond, Judge Donna King wrote that she believed new evidence that had come to light was enough to have Kelley declared "actually innocent." In 2014, Kelley was convicted by a jury of aggravated assault of a child after he was accused of molesting a 4-year-old boy at a Leander in-home daycare. For three years, Kelley sat in prison for the crime, which numerous judges and officials said they believed he did not commit. When Williamson County district Attorney Shawn Dick was elected in 2016, he promised to review the case once again, and began to publicly express doubts that justice had indeed been served.
While Kelley has been cleared of any wrongdoing, the question still remains of who actually committed the crime. Kelley was living with his friend, Jonathan McCarty, at the time. McCarty has long been considered a person of interest, or an alternate suspect, but was never charged with any crime related to the Kelley case. McCarty is currently serving a prison sentence for unrelated crimes.
Dick says, based on the current evidence, we may never truly know who was responsible.
"We were left with the Texas Ranger testifying there were three possible suspects in this case that he had identified," Dick says, " and so with that, we really don't have a case against any particular suspect."
Dick also says his heart goes out to the victim, and the victim's family.
"We failed them, the system failed them. They deserved answers," he says.