A Texas Ranger, who have been investigating Greg Kelley's 2014 conviction for sexually assaulting a four-year-old boy, testified at a packed Williamson County court hearing Thursday that he believed Kelley had been treated unfairly.
Ranger Cody Mitchell said he could not rule out Kelley as a suspect in the child abuse case, but there were at least two other suspects including Jonathan McCarty, who lived with Kelley in the house where the abuse is alleged to have taken place, and a third suspect the Ranger would not identify because his investigation is ongoing.
Kelley, who was a 19 year-old Leander High School football player when accused, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the alleged 2013 abuse of the four-year-old boy with no possibility of parole. The case was reopened in May by Williamson County District Attorney Shawn Dick.
Ranger Mitchell testified Thursday that, in his opinion, the Cedar Park Police Department made over a dozen lapses in procedure in investigating the case. He said he believed Kelley was treated unfairly during the investigation.
If he had been accused of something, Mitchell said, "I would have been scared to death to think that I could be in the same position."
Among other examples, Mitchell said Chris Dailey, the Cedar Park detective investigating the case, did not look at the phones or computers of Kelley or McCarty. Mitchell told the court a digital forensics specialist found images he considered pornographic on McCarty's computer, which included pictures of naked children, some of which he had deleted. The forensics expert said there were no such images on Kelley's phone or computer.
Several witnesses who testified Thursday said they considered McCarty a suspect and others told the court that they believed Patricia Cummings, Kelley's attorney at time of his trial and conviction, mishandled Kelley's defense.
Tracey Anderson, the mother of Kelley's girlfriend, said Cummings refused to investigate McCarty as a possible suspect in the case. She also told the court that Cummings had previously represented McCarty's brother.
"It was a major concern," Anderson testified. "That was a red flag to me."
A private investigator who worked for Cummings when she was defending Kelley said he also was concerned, and thought Cummings had a conflict. The investigator said he showed Cummings side-by-side photos of Kelley and McCarty, who look similar, and the defense lawyer told him, "We aren't investigating that."
Cummings took the stand at the hearing Thursday, but refused to answer most questions because she said it would violate her attorney-client oath.
Wednesday, Dailey, the detective who investigated the case prior to Kelley's trial, testified that he did not investigate the possibility that anyone other than Kelley could have committed the child abuse crime.
“Do you think you conducted a thorough investigation in this case?" asked Williamson County prosecutor Rene Gonzalez. "Yes, sir," Dailey said in response.
Dailey also deleted emails about the case he exchanged with a Child Protective Services investigator.
“I didn't think they contained any evidentiary value," Dailey told the court.
The hearing will continue Friday at 9 a.m.