Grandparents of man wrongfully charged with rape speak out

Carolyn and Truman Lilly of Wallace say they had no doubt their grandson Kadeem Hooks, 20, would be cleared of a rape charge against him after Marlboro County Sheriff Fred Knight said it was apparent he was not involved in the crime.

Hooks was accused of raping a 70-year-old woman at knife point at her home on Old Wire Road in Wallace last weekend.

Fourth Circuit Solicitor Will Rogers dismissed all charges against Hooks Wednesday afternoon.

They've now charged Derrick Dupree, 31, with Burglary First Degree, Kidnapping, Criminal Sexual Conduct First Degree and Use of a Weapon during the Commission of a Violent Crime.

Deputies got conclusive forensic evidence from the State Law Enforcement Division that shows Dupree was involved in the crime, according to Sheriff Knight.

The Lillys say they were overwhelmed with joy when Sheriff Knight told them their grandson was no longer a suspect and would be coming home.

"So when I walked in Fred Knight said 'we have good news.' And I said,'what is it'? Kadeem is free of all charges. Everything has been dropped against Kadeem and I said 'thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus. I knew that my grandson did not do that," said Carolyn Lilly.

The probable cause that led to the charges against Kadeem included a videotape confession and a knife he showed deputies that he had in his room.

Truman Lilly couldn't understand why his grandson would implicate himself in a crime he didn't commit.

"They found some little knife in his room. We gave them permission to search his room. Why you told them you had a knife if you wasn't there and you didn't have it. Why you brought them here and told them about a knife. So I really didn't know what to think. I told him I said 'I hope you didn't rape this woman," said Truman Lilly.

Carolyn Lilly says her grandson is on medication for some mental health issues and confessed to the crime because he was afraid.

"He was scared that was his problem. He easily to be scared," Carolyn Lilly added.

Sheriff Knight issued this statement regarding the case:

"The new evidence and diligent work we have done has made certain of that and that an innocent man was not convicted. I hope that the victim and their family as well as the citizens of Marlboro County can find peace and confidence that the MCSO relies heavily on ethics and persistence in our daily jobs, " explained Knight.

Dupree is being held at the Marlboro County Detention Center and a bond hearing will be held at a later time.