WACO (March 12, 2014) Ed Graf of Hewitt was named in new indictments Wednesday in connection with the fiery deaths of his two adopted sons 25 years ago and now faces trial on entirely new charges.
The indictment returned Wednesday against Graf, 61, charges two counts of capital murder, two counts of murder and four counts of injury to a child.
The new indictments supersede the original indictment that charged two counts of capital murder on which Graf was tried and convicted more than 25 years ago.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals threw out the conviction in March 2013, citing faulty arson science, but remanded the case back to the trial court for new trial, so the original indictments remained in force.
On Feb. 21 State District Judge Matt Johnson rejected a motion to drop the original capital murder charges against Graf
Defense attorney Walter "Skip" Reaves said Wednesday court rules prevented him from commenting on the new indictments.
Reaves filed a writ of habeas corpus in February asking the judge to dismiss the capital murder charges against Graf, saying a re-trial amounted to subjecting Graf to double jeopardy.
Reaves also argues that because files in the 26-year-old case are missing, it is impossible for the district attorney to provide discovery to the defense regarding evidence before going to trial, although Johnson did not rule on that question.
Following the February hearing Johnson dismissed the main issue, left Graf's bond at $1.5 million and said the trial would begin on May 19.
Johnson did, however, order a special grand jury to be impaneled to consider a new indictment in the case after prosecutors said a previous grand jury was tainted because Reaves sent grand jurors a letter.
Reaves responded that defense attorneys often send such letters.
It was that panel that took action on Wednesday and the Graff indictments were the only ones presented.
Graf was convicted of capital murder in the Aug. 26, 1986 deaths of his sons Jason, 8 and Joby, 9, who died in a fire in a shed behind the family's Hewitt home.
He has served 25 years of a life term.
The state appeals court agreed that modern forensic techniques could prove he didn't start the fire in a shed in the backyard of the family's home in Hewitt that killed the two boys.
In August 2013 Johnson ordered the new trial.
Graf was scheduled to go on trial on Feb. 3, but the trial was reset for May 19 during a closed-door meeting between Johnson, prosecutors and defense attorneys.
Johnson also issued a gag order, barring prosecutors and defense attorneys from discussing the case.