GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — Judge Donna King said Greg Kelley will not be released on bond Friday, during the final hearing in attorneys’ attempts to prove Kelley’s innocence.
Williamson County District Attorney Shawn Dick apologized to the family of the 4-year-old sexually assaulted in 2014, saying the criminal justice system didn’t get it right the first time. Dick said based on the evidence, he would not have tried Kelley had he been district attorney then.
Kelley’s defense wrapped up two days of hearing from witnesses, in a PowerPoint conclusion. Attorney Keith Hampton pointed to Jonathan McCarty as the suspect in the sexual assault case. He said had a jury been presented with all the evidence and seen McCarty as a suspect, Kelley would not have been convicted.
“This was the worst investigation I think any of us have seen,” said Hampton in the courtroom.
The victim said his attacker wore SpongeBob pajamas. Hampton pointed to the SpongeBob pajamas several witnesses said they saw McCarty wear often. When a Texas Ranger interviewed McCarty, McCarty said he didn’t wear SpongeBob pajamas. “McCarty denies he never wears SpongeBobs, now that is a complete lie,” said Hampton.
When interviewed, Kelley admitted to wearing McCarty’s SpongeBob pajama pants at night to bed when his other clothes were dirty. He said McCarty’s mother would get their clothes mixed up and sometimes put McCarty’s clothes in his drawers.
Hampton also brought back up statements the victim made during his forensic interview, referencing the room where the assault happened. He said it happened “wear the babies slept,” he mentioned trophies and “coaches,” which the defense says he meant couches. A photograph of McCarty’s bedroom shows a couch, a pack-n-play crib and trophies.
Hampton brought up the timeline original investigators missed. The victim’s family said the attack happened sometime between July 8-12, 2013. The Cedar Park police officer who took the report wrote in his report it most likely happened July 12. Kelley moved out of the McCarty house on June 11, 2013. “He’s not in the house, it’s only Jonathan,” said Hampton.
“I can say now, I believe in justice,” said Rosa Kelley, Kelley’s mother.
In a second chance, family and friends believe this time, the court is getting it right. “We watched the state come together with the defense and work towards finding out what the truth is and what actually happened,” said Jake Brydon, a Kelley family friend.
- GREG KELLEY CASE: How we got here
Thursday the judge heard from Texas Rangers that there are at least three suspects, including Kelley, in the recently reopened investigation.
McCarty, who has not been charged in this case, has now been officially called a suspect by a Texas Ranger who testified Thursday. He said McCarty, Kelley and another unnamed man are all suspects in the sexual assault.
McCarty’s attorney, Kellie Bailey, was also in the courtroom over the past few days listening to the testimony and said it’s extremely unusual to watch both the state and defense seeking the same outcome.
“In this case, they are both looking to exonerate Mr. Kelley and they were doing so at the expense of Johnathan McCarty. He has become a convenient scapegoat for Mr. Hampton so it makes it quite unusual,” Bailey argued.
Both the state and defense will come together to file their findings with the court. Judge King said they must file those documents by Aug. 18. King said she understands the urgency to find a resolution, but they need time to make sure all their facts are in order. “The court is anxious and has a sense of urgency to reach some finality of this matter for Mr. Kelley that’s gone on far too long,” said Judge King of the 26th District.
Judge King is expected to make a decision about the case soon after Aug. 18. If she believes Kelley is innocent or deserves a new trial, Kelley could be released on bond. King would then pass her recommendation on to the Court of Criminal Appeals, which has the final say.
Kelley family statement
The Kelley family released a statement Friday morning saying they are grateful to District Attorney Dick and his team, Judge King and the Texas Rangers. However, they said they have listened in disbelief to the “many failures” of the Cedar Park Police Department.
Speaking to the victim’s family, Kelley’s family said they are not trying to hurt them or reopen old wounds. “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 excellent that is required.”