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Death Row Inmate Freed After 18 Years Behind Bars

Anthony Graves
Photo courtesy Texas Monthly
Anthony Graves was released from jail Wednesday after nearly two decades behind bars. All murder charges against him were dropped.

The Burleson County District Attorney has dropped murder charges against Anthony Graves. Graves had been behind bars for nearly two decades for the murders of six people in 1992 in Somerville, TX, a small town of about 2,000 just an hour-and-a-half east of Austin.

Graves was released from the Burleson County jail Wednesday.

Texas Monthly Magazine published an article on the Graves case a month before his release. In Innocence Lost, Pamela Colloff reports Graves was convicted based solely on the word of the prime suspect in the investigation. The suspect later recanted.

“There was not a shred of physical evidence to tie him to the scene, there was no plausible motive. And the only thing that they had in the way of eyewitness testimony were the words of Robert Carter who of course was the crime’s prime suspect,” said Texas Monthly Editor Jake Silverstein in an interview with KUT.

Despite the long saga, Silverstein says Graves was released suddenly; there wasn’t a Hollywood ending with cameras or fanfare.

“His mother actually found out when he called her from his attorney’s cell phone in the car. He didn’t know how to use a cell phone, his attorney had to teach him how to use a cell phone,” said Silverstein.

Graves said: “Mom, what’s for dinner?”

Listen to KUT's Crystal Chavez speak with Silverstein about the story.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.
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