Couple still fighting for Jackson County inmate’s freedom 21 years after crime they say he didn’t commit

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The long road to freedom is getting longer for a Kansas City man. He says he is innocent of a 1996 double murder.

Wednesday, the Missouri Supreme Court hears argument on whether Ricky Kidd can appeal his Jackson County conviction.

FOX 4's Shannon O'Brien spoke to Kidd's longtime girlfriend.

It looked like there was a light at the end of the tunnel in July, when Kidd's appeal was scheduled to be heard in Jackson County court, until the attorney general's office stepped in and put a stop to it.

Now it is up to the Missouri Supreme Court to decide if Kidd will get his chance at freedom.

"I feel like they robbed us, robbed us blind of the life we could have had and the life my daughter could have had," Monica Gray said.

It was March of 1997 when a jury found Ricky Kidd guilty of double murder in Kansas City. Four months pregnant with their daughter, Kidd's girlfriend Monica Gray says it was beyond devastating.

"They day I gave birth to her, he should have been there, but all I could do was look at a picture or hear his voice. When she graduated from high school, he could hear it over the phone, but he should have been there. And the state doesn't care because it is not happening to them. It is not happening to their family."

Kidd, represented by a public defender then, now has a powerhouse legal team behind him including the Midwest Innocence Project and former Jackson County Prosecutor Cindy Dodge.

"She said this is one of the most important cases of her career and she is going to see it through along with Sean O'Brien and Tricia Bushnell, they are going to see it through until he sees his freedom," Gray explained.

Kidd's legal team said at the time of the murder, Kidd was at the Jackson County Sheriff's Office applying for a gun permit, which would have been easy to verify. That, plus the testimony of his co-defendant who confessed to the crime and named two others who were with him -- not Ricky Kidd.

In 2016, Jackson County judge Sandra Midkiff ordered DNA testing and last year granted Kidd an appeal hearing, which the Missouri attorney general's office is fighting.

"It is very hurtful, and it is hurtful that Jean Peters Baker knows about this and that Josh Hawley knows about it that she has withheld this evidence and that he is innocent and they are still keeping him locked up. So it is easy for them to put someone away, but for them to free someone, I mean it is going on 22 years," Gray said.

We have reached out to Jean Peters Baker and Attorney General Josh Hawley for their comments on this case. So far we have not heard back.

Many of the players and politicians will no longer say they believe Kidd is guilty, but no one in the state administration is standing up to demand his freedom either.