AUSTIN (KXAN) — The ex-wife of a man who confessed to killing their kids said she’s glad that he finally admitted to the murders. Edward Graf, 62, said during his retrial last week that was responsible for the deaths of his two adopted stepsons in 1986. He faces 60 years behind bars, but because of an old law, he will be released from prison sometime this week.
“Even though he was going to receive murder, the confession changed things and now the world knows what I have always known from Aug. 26,1986, that Ed Graf murdered my children Joby and Jason,” Clare Bradeburn said in a phone interview with KXAN News.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t miss them, and think about them,” Bradeburn said about her boys. “They’re in my heart and they go everywhere that I go.”
Joby, 9, and 8-year-old Jason’s lives were cut short when Graf locked them in a shed behind their home in Hewitt, Texas and set it on fire. Graf has served 26 years behind bars. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals said it granted her ex-husband a second trial because of faulty arson evidence in the first one. He took a plea deal last week which would include 60 years behind bars and waived his right to appeal.
“The confession is a relief. For whatever reason, he confessed,” said Bradburn, who was shocked by his admission. According to the Associated Press, Graf confessed to the killings while the jury was deliberating.
Because of an old state law he’s automatically eligible for release. He was grandfathered into the the Mandatory Release law which credited him for his 26 years served and good behavior. It’s an old law the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles says was put into effect from 1977 to 1987 in the 65th legislature. Graf committed the crime when before the law changed in the 70th legislature, which is why he is able to be released from prison.
“As I said before it was out of our hands. That law is a law we have to live and abide by and that ‘s just the way it is,” said Bradburn. She said she believes the McLennan District’s Attorney’s Office did a great job throughout the years in the case and that their hands were tied in the law.
“I’m extremely proud and grateful for (Abelino Reyna) and his amazing staff for working so diligently and compassionately and all others that confirmed to prove that Ed was not wrongly convicted 26 years ago,” she added.
Graf was expected to have been released on Monday from Huntsville but the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles said there’s one more piece of paperwork needed before the 62-year-old can go. Bradburn said she believes Graf will be taken to the Austin Transitional Center in Southeast Austin.
Officials said Graf will have parole conditions that includes the Super Intensive Supervision Program which means he’ll have to wear an electronic monitoring device. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has not officially released where Graf will be located and won’t until he’s actually released from prison.
After he gets out, Graf will not be allowed in Denton, Dallas, Harris, McLennan Wichita and Henderson counties, according to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. His ex-wife said she asked that Graf would not be allowed to spend any time in those counties for her family’s peace of mind since family members live in these areas.