AUSTIN, Texas - It was an emotional day in Williamson County as Greg Kelley was officially declared innocent and fully exonerated in the very courtroom where he was initially sentenced more than five years ago.
Before entering the courtroom for his exoneration hearing, Kelley was met with cheering and applause from friends and family.
“I declare you innocent and fully exonerated,” said Judge Donna King.
“Right now I’m just feeling so free,” said Kelley. “I look forward to a lot of things in my life but ultimately I just look forward to being free."
He had been originally sentenced to 25 years in prison for aggravated sexual assault of a child more than half a decade ago.
“I’ve been dreaming of this day, it felt like the past six years have been a nightmare for me but to be declared fully innocent...to go on with my life, it’s an absolute blessing,” said Kelley.
While behind bars, the former Leander High School football player maintained his innocence and never gave up hope.
“Prison was a place filled with terrifying experiences for me but it was also a place where I found god,” said Kelley.
Three years into his sentence, he was released on bond following new evidence in the case, evidence which would ultimately overturn his original guilty verdict.
“From here on out, I found a new sense of freedom. I think it’s fair to say I appreciate freedom more than anybody right now,” said Kelley.
As this case comes to a close the work for Kelley is far from over. He plans to hold Cedar Park police accountable for how they initially handled his case.
“People like that having a badge is completely terrifying and ultimately I’d be scared to death to live in Cedar Park knowing a detective could point you out and solely seek out an investigation no matter if there is another assailant or not,” said Kelley.
Kelley said he has a lot to be thankful for on the day before Thanksgiving and as for the future, he’s looking forward to his wedding come January. Kelley also says he wants to pursue football as well as prison ministry.