Homicide

After years proclaiming innocence, Texas man admits to setting 1986 fire that killed 2 boys

  • Ed Graf, center, looks at Don Youngblood, right, as defense attorney Michelle Tuegel, left, looks on after pleading guilty to the murder of his two sons during his retrial, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald, Jerry Larson)

    Ed Graf, center, looks at Don Youngblood, right, as defense attorney Michelle Tuegel, left, looks on after pleading guilty to the murder of his two sons during his retrial, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald, Jerry Larson)  (The Associated Press)

  • Clare Bradburn, left, leaves the 54th District courtroom with her husband Shelby Bradburn after her ex-husband Ed Graf pleaded guilty to the murder of their two sons during his retrial, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald, Jerry Larson)

    Clare Bradburn, left, leaves the 54th District courtroom with her husband Shelby Bradburn after her ex-husband Ed Graf pleaded guilty to the murder of their two sons during his retrial, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald, Jerry Larson)  (The Associated Press)

  • Clare Bradburn gives an impact statement after her ex-husband Ed Graf pled guilty to the murder of their two sons following his retrial, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald, Jerry Larson)

    Clare Bradburn gives an impact statement after her ex-husband Ed Graf pled guilty to the murder of their two sons following his retrial, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald, Jerry Larson)  (The Associated Press)

A Texas man has admitted to setting a backyard fire in 1986 that killed his two stepsons, ending a yearslong fight over whether faulty fire science had wrongfully put him behind bars.

In a surprising twist, Ed Graf pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of murder just as a jury in Waco was deliberating during his retrial. He was originally convicted in 1988 of setting the fire, but he was given a new trial after experts raised questions about the testimony of fire investigators at his first trial.

The Waco Tribune-Herald reports that his plea agreement calls for a sentence of 60 years in prison. Graf has served 28 years behind bars and will be eligible to apply for parole immediately.

Graf had maintained his innocence for years.