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TIMELINE: Greg Kelley case

A look back at the events of the Greg Kelley case from his arrest to the evidence that led to the reopening of the case and the eventual overturn of his conviction.

LEANDER, Texas — Editor's note: The video above was published in September 2019.

Greg Kelley was accused in 2013 of sexually assaulting two 4-year-old boys at an in-home daycare operated by his friend's family. Kelley, who was 18 years old at the time of his arrest, was convicted of sexual assault and sent to prison. New evidence caused Kelley's case to be reopened before his conviction was eventually overturned in 2019.

Aug. 12, 2013: Kelley is arrested

Kelley is arrested on a charge of sexual assault of a child. He was arrested on campus at Leander High School, where he was a student.

Aug. 29, 2013: Second accuser comes forward

A second 4-year-old boy comes forward with allegations of assault by Kelley.

Greg Kelley

July 8, 2014: Trial begins

Kelley's trial begins. With no physical evidence, the jury is expected to reach their decision based on the testimony of the two boys.

July 9, 2014: Victims testify, one recants

Both of the alleged victims testify on the second day of trial. One of the boys, testifying via closed circuit TV, denies that Kelley did anything to him.

July 11, 2014: Daycare owner testifies

The woman who owns the daycare where the alleged assault took place testifies in court. She said she believes Kelley is innocent. The detective who interviewed the alleged victim also admits that he asked leading questions during the interview.

July 16, 2014: Kelly found guilty, sentenced to 25 years

After more than 12 hours of deliberations, the jury finds Kelley guilty of two counts of super aggravated sexual assault of a child. He is sentenced to 25 years in prison without the possibility of parole.


Hundreds rally to support Greg Kelley

Greg Kelley's family, friends generate online support

Aug. 1, 2014: Kelley speaks to KVUE News

Kelley speaks out for the first time since going to jail in an exclusive interview with KVUE News.

Aug. 13, 2014: Kelley's attorney files motion for retrial

Kelley's attorney files a motion for a new trial.

The Williamson County district attorney responds to Kelley's request for a new trial

Aug. 18, 2014: Williamson County responds to Kelley's request for a new trial

The Williamson County District Attorney's Office files a formal response to Kelley's request for a new trial. The 18-page document is intended to convince the original trial judge that Kelley does not deserve another shot at freedom.

Aug. 29, 2014: New judge appointed

A new judge is appointed in Kelley's case after Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield recused himself.

Sept. 23, 2014: Judge denies new trial

A Williamson County judge denies the motion for a new trial for Kelley and canceled his Sept. 29 hearing. The judge's order said in part, "A discretionary hearing on the Motion For New Trial would achieve nothing. Even if the Court believed at hearing that the defendant was actually innocent, the Court would be specifically prohibited from granting the relief sought."

Feb. 11, 2016: Appeals court affirms conviction

A state appeals court rules against Kelley after two years of attempts to overturn his conviction. The defense team says they have evidence showing that Kelley could not have been at the daycare when the alleged abuse took place.

Booking photos of Johnathan McCarty on Sept. 22, 2014 and Greg Kelley on Sept. 12, 2014.

May 25, 2017: Authorities reopen Kelley case and identify new suspect

Williamson County District Attorney Shawn Dick said he received "credible" evidence that prompted Texas Rangers to investigate the case. New evidence indicates that Johnathan McCarty, whose mother operated the in-home daycare, may have been involved in the assault.

McCarty (left) and Kelley (right) in 2014.

A Williamson County judge set a hearing for Kelley on Aug.3. The Williamson County District Attorney said this was the earliest date available for all parties. During the hearing, the judge will decide if Kelley can be released from prison on bond.

May 31, 2017: Kelley discusses case information in first prison sit-down interview

Greg Kelley sat down with KVUE's and the Austin American-Statesman's Tony Plohetski to discuss his relationship to an alternative suspect and the three years he has spent behind bars in his first prison sit-down interview. That alternative suspect was identified as Johnathan McCarty.

RAW: Greg Kelley 2017 sit-down prison interview with KVUE News

June 2, 2017: Judge issues order to return Kelley to Williamson Co. custody

A judge issued an order to return Kelley to Williamson County custody from the Wynne Unit in Huntsville. Plohetski said this move situated him to be better prepared for his hearing scheduled in the first week of August to have his conviction overturned

Greg Kelley has first sit-down interview with KVUE behind bars after learning another suspected has been arrested.

June 6, 2017: Hearing rescheduled for alternative suspect Johnathan McCarty

The probation revocation for Johnathan McCarty, held in the Williamson County jail on drug charges and allegedly violating his probation, was set for July 28.

Credit: Williamson County Jail
Johnathan McCarty booking photo from 2017.

June 8, 2017: Affidavits reveal new details in Kelley case

Affidavits revealed that a child who knew both Kelley and McCarty had trouble telling them apart and that McCarty told a second person that it was he who abused the boy. Kelley's defense suggested that it was possible the 4-year-old at the center of the case may have mistakenly identified his abuser based on the similarities between Kelley and McCarty.

June 12, 2017: Juror from Kelley trial says 'He should be exonerated for everything'

In an interview with Plohetski, A juror who said he was the last hold-out before convicting Kelley expressed deep regret that he collapsed under what he described as pressure from fellow jurors to find the former high school football star guilty.

Juror from Greg Kelley trial speaks exclusively to KVUE and the Austin American-Statesman.

"I was trying to bring up points – were y'all watching the same trial I was?" said the juror, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "I was trying to convince them."

Aug. 2, 2017: Family members, detectives testify on Day 1 of hearing

Kelley's brother testified that Kelley was with him helping the family move on the day the crime is thought to have been committed. Cedar Park Police Detective Chris Dailey testified that he thinks he did a thorough job in the investigation and stands by how he investigated the victim's claims. Prosecutors indicated that Dailey failed to do several things during the investigation he should have, including not going to the house where the child said the assault happened or seizing evidence the boy said was used in the assault.

Aug. 3, 2017: Texas Ranger says there is a third suspect, Kelley cannot be ruled out on Day 2

Texas Ranger Cody Mitchell said the initial investigation of the case was not fair and cites more than a dozen lapses in the Cedar Park Police investigation. Mitchell also discussed photographs on McCarty's computer he believed constituted child porn.

Aug. 4, 2017: On Day 3, Judge rules Kelley is not to be released on bond

On the third day of Kelley's hearing, a judge ruled that Kelley would not be released on bond as she awaited findings of fact and conclusions of law. Kelley's attorney Keith Hampton and Williamson County District Attorney Shawn Dick spoke on the matter.

Aug. 18, 2017: Kelley's porn, deleted texts deemed 'not relevant' by district attorney

New revelations by the Texas Rangers in the child sexual assault case – including pornography, deleted texts and a reference to a selfie with a child – were deemed "not relevant in the courtroom" by District Attorney Shawn Dick. The DA said the pornography found on Kelley's phone was not child pornography.

Aug. 22, 2017: Greg Kelley released on bond

Three years after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a then-4-year-old boy, Kelley was released on bond.

Sept. 26, 2019: Kelley's attorney questions why appeal is lingering

The attorney for Kelley is questioning why the state's highest criminal court is taking so long with his appeal.

Kelley's attorney, in a court filing the week of Sept. 26, 2019, questioned whether a lawyer appointed by the court has secretly and improperly been working against Kelley.

Nov. 6, 2019: Kelley can move forward with this life after his conviction is overturned

Six years after Kelley was accused of sexually assaulting a boy, the state's highest criminal court has overturned his conviction, marking the end of a long and controversial case.

His case will be sent back to Williamson County, according to court documents obtained by KVUE Nov. 6. District Attorney Shawn Dick has indicated that he has no plans to go forward with the case, meaning Kelley can move forward with his life.

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