KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Another man serving a life sentence behind bars learned today that his fight for freedom may soon be over.
This after the Missouri Supreme Court decided to overturn the murder conviction of Keith Carnes. Carnes has spent 19 years behind bars for a murder he says he did not commit.
FOX 4 was there Wednesday when his lawyer called Carnes in prison to tell him that the state Supreme Court agreed that he should be set free.
“Ah, my goodness that sent a chill up my back,” Carnes said after hearing the news. “I’m ready to get up out of here. Man!”
A private investigator uncovered new evidence in Carnes’ case a few years ago. That evidence supported his claims of innocence. Lawyers also argued there is a lack of physical evidence tying him to the crime.
“If the state does not do anything in 30 days, they will have to let him go,” Kent Gipson, Carnes’ attorney, said. “But I would assume they will either dismiss the charges fairly quickly or say they are going to retry him, one of the two. By the end of the week I think they will dismiss the charges.”
This is the latest example of a wrongful conviction that has resulted in exoneration in recent years.
Gipson says studies have shown that between three and five percent of the inmates in the United States are innocent.
Gipson believes that’s thousands of people nationwide, possibly hundreds in Missouri.
The prosecutor who originally filed charges against Carnes was Amy McGowan, the same prosecutor who also tried Ricky Kidd.
Kidd also has been exonerated after spending 23 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit.