Greg Kelley, who was convicted on charges of super aggravated sexual assault of a child in 2014, was released on $50,000 bond today by District Judge Donna King pending a recommendation from the judge on whether Kelley should be exonerated or given a new trial.
Kelley's release, which was cheered by his legal team and a crowd of family, friends and supporters, comes three weeks after Judge King held a three-day hearing, requested by Williamson County District Attorney Shawn Dick, that reviewed the investigation that led to Kelley's arrest.
Kelley, now 22, has been in prison for three years.
A relieved Kelley spoke to a large crowd of supporters outside the door of the Williamson County Jail.
"I have been waiting for this day for a long time," Kelley said. "Right now I just want some peace. I hope everyone will give me and my family some space. I will have more to say at a later time."
Kelley's current defense attorneys and his family have voiced strong feelings that he was wrongly convicted. During the hearing earlier this month, Texas Ranger Cody Mitchell and the District Attorney were critical about the way the investigation was handled by the Cedar Park Police Department, the prosecutor at that time and the criminal defense attorney who represented Kelley in 2014.
Ranger Mitchell testified during the hearing that while prosecutors and police zeroed in on Kelley, there were at least two other suspects in the case including Jonathan McCarty, who lived with Kelley in the house where the abuse is alleged to have taken place. The Ranger would not identify the third suspect because his investigation is ongoing.
Dick has criticized his predecessors in the Williamson County District Attorney's Office for going forward with Kelley's prosecution despite a lack of evidence. He said the Cedar Park police investigation was "wholly deficient," and said with the evidence that was available, Kelley's defense attorney should have been able to better defend her client.
"We can and we must do better," Dick said.
However, none of the investigators or prosecutors currently working on the kelley case have been willing to declare Kelley innocent. That decision will eventually be made by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals after Judge King considers evidence from the hearing and makes her recommendation. In the meantime, Kelley will be out on bond and the investigation into the case will continue.