Texas man who spent 4 years in jail with no conviction granted bail

Cyrus Gray has been held at the Hays County Jail for more than four years on a murder charge—but hasn’t been convicted of anything. 

Now, he finally has a shot at freedom, but advocates are slamming his case as just one instance of a much larger injustice.

"I think it is something to be happy about, that we have a chance at least to get him to come home," said Cyrus Gray II, Cyrus' father. 

The elder Gray is happy about a judge's decision at a bail hearing Tuesday, that his son's freedom is only $250,000 away after he was held without bail for more than four years. 

Gray was 23 years old when he was arrested in 2018 for the 2015 murder of Texas State student Justin Gage. He's now nearly 28, and still in jail with no conviction, and no trial until last month, which ended in a hung jury. 

Now, he awaits a retrial. 

"It's just, it's just, a trauma to have, you know, your child in jail," said Cyrus Gray II. "I mean, a young kid who was about building his future, started work as a therapist. You know, he was involved in some small entrepreneurship all that. All just shut down. You can't give those years back."

Gage was killed during a 2015 robbery at his San Marcos apartment. Police say three masked men broke in and shot him, arguing two of them were Cyrus Gray and his co-defendant DeVonte Amerson. But there are questions about how the case was investigated and prosecuted—with Gray's father arguing the mistrial proves the evidence just isn't there.

"Our system is based on a presumption of innocence, John. So if you hold somebody for that long when they are actually innocent in the eyes of the law, that means you are already punishing them for a crime for which they have not been found guilty. And that's a form of injustice," said Cyrus Gray II. 

Amerson remains in jail as well and hasn't even been to trial. 

"Cyrus and DeVonte, unfortunately, are not anomalies," said Amy Kamp, an organizer with Hays County Jail Advocates.

Kamp says their cases are part of a much larger problem of people being held for years ahead of a trial. 

"We've talked to people who have been in jail pretrial for up to seven years," said Kamp.

According to numbers from the Hays County Jail Dashboard, 85% of inmates in custody have yet to go to trial. Of those, 15% have been there between six months and one year. Another 15% have been in jail between one and three years, and 4% have been locked up for more than three years. 

Kamp argues that's not just wrong, it's unconstitutional. 

"We have to ask our judges to be more committed to setting trials and to be moving more quickly through these things," said Kamp. "If you're going to set bond, it needs to be a bond that the person and their family can actually pay."

Cyrus Gray's father says his family is going to try and raise the money, and hopes to have his son free within a month. 

"We’re going to embrace him, happy that he’s home," said Cyrus Gray II. "I know that he has a lot of reflections and I would hope that coming back home, our life would even be better." 

Cyrus Gray's retrial has been set for October 31. There's still no trial date set for DeVonte Amerson, though his bond was lowered Tuesday from $750,000 to $500,000. 

FOX 7 reached out to Hays County Court Administrator Steve Thomas. He replied, saying, "Both cases are pending before the Court, no comment will be provided as appropriate."

FOX 7 also reached out to the Hays County District Attorney's office, but did not hear back.