KC man who says he was wrongly convicted of murder 16 years ago may get new trial

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — New evidence uncovered by a defense attorney and private investigator hope to clear a convicted murderer’s name.

Keith Carnes was sentenced to life in prison for the 2003 murder of 24-year-old Larry White. He has maintained he is innocent throughout.

“We have uncovered quite a bit of newly discovered evidence in support of Keith’s innocence,” Carnes’ defense attorney Taylor Rickard said. “The goal is to get a new trial for Keith. We believe evidence is totally overwhelming of his innocence at this point. It’s so much easier to get somebody, to convict somebody of a crime they did not commit than to get someone exonerated.”

Some of the new evidence filed in a 50-page document at the Missouri Supreme Court include lack of physical evidence to tie Carnes to the crime scene, discovery of forged documents with Carnes’ signature on court related papers and recanted statements by two witnesses.

Defense attorneys for Carnes are also zeroing in on a former prosecutor in the case.

“Amy McGowen who was the prosecutor at Keith’s very first trial. There has been quite a bit of new evidence come to light based out of her involvement in other cases. She was involved in Ricky Kidd’s case, and he was an exoneree out of Jackson County, just recently,” Rickard said.

Multiple appeals filed on Carnes behalf have failed. Rickard said this new filing opens the door to the possibility of a new trial.

His family said they are optimistic.

“My son never received justice. He never did. The victim’s family never received justice. There’s a murderer out there,” said Carnes’ mother Eve Moffatt. “It’s devastating, but what’s next is we wait. Wait patiently, because I believe there is going to be a shake-up. A shake-up in the police department, the prosecuting attorney, a big major shake-up.”

Carnes is sentenced to life in prison without parole.

FOX4 reached out to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office for a statement on the case by email. They did not respond to the request.

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