Lydell Grant was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of 28-year-old Aaron Scheerhoorn, who was stabbed to death near a Montrose night club in 2010.
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Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Jermarico Carter, 41, has been charged and is in custody in Georgia "following an extensive re-investigation for the crime by HPD detectives."
Ogg said the new charge will lead to the exoneration of Grant.
On Friday night, Chief Art Acevedo issued a rare apology to Grant following the new charge against a different suspect.
"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," Acevedo said.
According to Grant's 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 led them to Carter.
The district attorney's office said detectives learned Carter had been in Houston at the time of the murder in the same area where Scheerhoorn was killed.
"The highest responsibility of a prosecutor is to see that justice is done and insuring that we have the correct individual charged is a baseline responsibility," said Ogg. "To accomplish that in this case, the Houston Police Department and the Harris County District Attorney's Office worked together diligently to identify, track down, arrest and obtain a statement from Carter, who finally admitted to killing Aaron Scheerhoorn."
Ogg said the district attorney's office will begin Grant's exoneration process immediately.
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