Case of man convicted of murder in front of gay bar has been reopened

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Lydell Grant was sentenced to life in prison for a crime he said he didn't commit. He was convicted 7 years ago for the murder of a 28-year-old man who was fatally stabbed near a Montrose night club in 2010.

According to his attorneys, in addition to eyewitnesses, the state DNA expert testified that Grant couldn't be ruled out as a contributor to the DNA recovered from beneath the victim's fingernails.

That evidence was retested this year by the Innocence Project of Texas, and the DPS crime lab. The conclusion, said Grant's lawyers, was that the tests revealed he is not a DNA match, and it also identified the person who remains at large.

Wednesday, Grant was in court in what was to have been a hearing to allow him to be released on bond, while the proper steps are taken to secure his release and his exoneration. It ended with Grant remaining in custody.

The prosecutor questioned whether the office had received a writ filed by the defense, who showed one had been filed. That presented a new hurdle, and would require more time, said the prosecution. The judge deferred to the state on the matter but did order that both sides agree on a hearing date.

That hearing is set for late November, but Grant remains in custody, awaiting the appearance while being housed at the Harris County jail. His family and friends left the courthouse without the reunion that they had expected Wednesday.

"We know he's innocent, and we're gonna fight to the end," said his aunt, Kitsye Grant. "They really need to go and find the right person. What I feel bad for is the mother of the young man, the victim. They got the wrong person."

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