UPDATE 11:39 a.m.: Judge Donna King ruled that no bond would be set for Kelley today. She said she wants to review all evidence before making her decision, asking for all evidence to be received by the court by Aug. 18. From there, King will make her recommendation to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, who will determine Kelley's ruling.
The hearing into the Greg Kelley conviciton before State District Judge Donna King continued today at the Williamson County Courthouse.
Kelley, who was a 19 year-old Leander High School football player when accused, was sentenced to 25 years in prison with no possibility of parole for the alleged 2013 abuse of a 4-year-old boy. Kelley has always proclaimed his innocence.
The case was reopened in May by Williamson County District Attorney Shawn Dick, who is making a statement today at court.
When reopening the case, Dick said after reviewing "credible" evidence that someone other than Kelley may have committed the assault on the boy, he contacted the Texas Rangers to conduct an independent investigation.
Thursday Ranger Cody Mitchell testified he thought the Cedar Park Police Department made over a dozen lapses in procedure in investigating the case, and said Kelley was treated unfairly. While Kelley is still a suspect, two more suspects are under investigation.
Judge King, who likely will not rule on the case immediately, will make a recommendation to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals about whether to grant a new trial or to exonerate Kelley, who has been in prison at Huntsville for three years.
Friday, Doug Douglas, a spokesman for Kelley's family, issued the following statement before court proceedings began:
For more than three years, Gregory Kelley, his family, friends, supporters, and concerned citizens into the thousands, have been asking our legal system to take a second look at the failures that occurred during the investigation and trial of Greg Kelley. This week, we received that look and are grateful to District Attorney Shawn Dick and his team, Judge Donna King, the Texas Rangers for their thorough investigation into this matter, and the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance, protection, and helpfulness.
We have listened in disbelief to the many failures of the Cedar Park Police Department, led by Chief Sean Mannix and Sergeant Christopher Dailey. It has become obvious to all who have listened that new leadership is required within this police force. While we fully support law enforcement and officers, they need solid, dependable leadership to function at the highest levels. When the stated objective of a successful investigation is to get a conviction, and not to uncover the truth, a change is non-negotiable.
It was well documented in these proceedings that Christopher Dailey did not do his job. He failed to do the most common of steps in an investigation, and according to the Texas Rangers, set their target on Greg Kelley and reshaped the facts to fit the suspect. Texas Ranger Cody Mitchell stated that this type of failure scares him to death.
It also became evident that Patricia Cummings’ loyalty appeared to lie with the McCarty family due to her 10+ years of involvement with them. This legal conflict of interest put the interests of Johnathan McCarty ahead of her client, Gregory Kelley. This is unthinkable! Person after person, including the private investigator that Cummings hired to find the truth, were dismissed at any mention of investigating Johnathan McCarty. He was a legitimate person of interest, and the Defense wouldn’t even consider him? This is odd, at best.
When you consider that Greg Kelley had a police department that refused to consider Johnathan McCarty, and a Defense Attorney who goes back more than 10 years with the McCarty family and won’t even hear of looking into Johnathan McCarty, what you have is a young man like Greg Kelley who is destined to fall victim to a system that is set up to fail at justice.
We believe that there is more than enough irrefutable evidence of failures in this case that Greg Kelley should be exonerated, or at the very least, given a new trial. We are hopeful that this has become clear to Judge King over the past 3 days and she will make this ruling quickly.
And finally, to the victim’s family. We are in no way intentionally trying to hurt you, reopen wounds, or want anything but the very best for you and your son. We are here today because other people have failed you throughout this ordeal by not doing what they are supposed to do at the level of excellence that is required. We seek justice for all involved, especially you. We support you. We pray for healing within your family.