AUSTIN, Texas - Greg Kelley is out of jail and home with his family.
The 22-year-old was convicted of child sexual assault in 2014 and sentenced to 25 years in prison, but his lawyer filed a writ of habeas corpus this spring to bring new evidence before a district court judge.
Kelley’s attorney said they found out Tuesday afternoon that Kelley would be released from jail. His lawyer said as the convicted child sex offender walked out of his cell, all the other inmates, as well as some of the guards, were cheering him on.
“I've been waiting for this day a long time. It's so surreal right now, I couldn't process this,” said Kelley immediately following his release from the Williamson County jail.
After sitting in a cell for more than three years, Kelley said he just wanted to go home and be with his family.
“It’s had its ups and downs the past three years and it's a new beginning for me. I know it's not over yet, but we're going to continue fighting and the truth will prevail,” Kelley said.
It's far from over for the convicted child sex offender. Kelley was found guilty of performing lewd acts with a child at an in-home daycare in 2014. That’s a crime he still says he didn't commit.
“I'm sorry, but I didn't do that to your child. Someday, I hope I can meet you and I can explain to you that it wasn't me,” Kelley said in a message to the victim’s family.
It was ultimately district court Judge Donna King’s decision whether Kelley should be released on bond.
”That woman worked through the weekend, she pulled an all-nighter, she has listened to Greg Kelley on that tape more than anybody,” Hampton said.
During the writ hearing, many witnesses claimed evidence in the child sex assault case pointed to an alternate suspect, Johnathan McCarty, the daycare owner's son.
There is also a third unnamed suspect being investigated by the Texas Rangers.
Judge King agreed to two claims Tuesday. The first is that the Cedar Park police investigation was negligent. The second is that Kelley was deprived of effective counsel by his former attorney, Patricia Cummings.
King then ordered a bond for Kelley of $50,000.
“You know, it's not real until it happens and we were both just, its real, man, it's going to happen,” said Hampton.
After his bond was posted, Kelley walked out of jail and into the arms of his girlfriend, family and friends.
“I just thank the DA's office, the judge for keeping an open mind to allow me to come home to my family,” Kelley said.
Any claims agreed to by the judge will go to the court of criminal appeals. It will be up to that court whether to exonerate or retry Kelley.
Kelley's lawyer is still hopeful Judge King will agree to an innocence claim.
She has until September 16 to make a decision on the remaining proposals.