Paul Gregory House will celebrate the Fourth of July at home this Friday thanks to an anonymous donor who sent his mother the $10,000 bail needed for his release from state custody.
House, who has multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair, is set for release today at 9:30 a.m. from the Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility in Nashville.
“I was in tears because I couldn’t find an appraiser for a property bond,” said his mother, Joyce House. “Then I got an anonymous caller who said they were going to put up the money. There are angels out there. One day I hope to meet them.”
House, 46, was on death row for 22 years after being convicted in 1986 of murdering Carolyn Muncey in East Tennessee. The U.S. Supreme Court concluded in 2006 that a jury, based upon DNA evidence that emerged years after his trial, could find reasonable doubt in the case. House has maintained his innocence.
U.S. District Court Judge Harry Mattice Jr. ordered the state to release House or retry him within 180 days, and an appeals court upheld Mattice’s decision.
Prosecutors said they would retry House, and a state court judge in Union County set a $500,000 bond. Another judge reduced the bond to $100,000. At least 10 percent of that amount was required for House’s release.
House’s mother planned to use her Crossville home for a property bond to get her son released from jail while awaiting his second trial in October.
Under the bail conditions set by a judge, House can only leave his mother’s home for medical appointments and court appearances. He will have a 24-hour electronic monitoring system and has to register as a sex offender. No firearms are allowed in the house.
Groups declare victory
The state does not plan to seek the death penalty during the second trial, and anti-death penalty organizations already have declared victory.
“We are so grateful to all the Tennesseans and people all over the country who have supported our work to free Paul House,” said Stacy Rector, executive director of the Tennessee Coalition to Abolish State Killing.
Contact Chris Echegaray at 664-2144 or firstname.lastname@example.org.