Missouri Supreme Court considering future for KC man who claims innocence in 1996 double murder

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri’s Supreme Court is now considering what happens next for a Kansas City convicted killer.

Ricky Kidd was sent away nearly 22 years ago for the murders of two men. But all along he has proclaimed his innocence.

If there’s one thing Monica Gray is used to, it’s waiting. She’s been waiting 22 years for Kidd, her long-time boyfriend, to be proven innocent of the two murders.

“They’re giving us injustice," Gray said. "The system is broken, and it needs to be fixed."

Gray’s case is in the hands of the Midwest Innocence Project, with a legal team that includes a former Jackson County assistant prosecutor and UMKC law professor.

Although they contend Kidd never should’ve been convicted based on conflicting witness testimony, the only shot to clear his name now is with DNA.

“In our case, we won the DNA motion. We got an order that the DNA be tested to move forward," UMKC law professor Sean O'Brien said. "There was a finding that if the DNA testing does establish the identity of the perpetrators, that he very well might be able to move on."

But since that DNA motion was won in 2013, Kidd still hasn’t had a hearing.

It was initially supposed to be held in Jackson County, where the case was originally tried, and last year, Kidd was transferred to the Jackson County Jail so he could be at that hearing.

But now, the state Attorney General’s Office is fighting back, insisting the hearing should be held in DeKalb County, where Kidd has been serving his prison sentence.

“This case has been going on for a long time, and then all the sudden, it seems from the record this was brought up kind of at the last minute, and the trial court’s got to deal with this when everything’s kind of set up and ready to be tried,” Supreme Court Justice Powell said.

“There were multiple attempts to try to get this particular court to exercise its authority appropriately and transfer the case to DeKalb County,” said John Sauer, a prosecutor with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.

Kidd’s loved ones are frustrated by the technicality, which is only further delaying what’s already been an exhausting legal battle.

“They’re focused on what judge, which jurisdiction should be able to hear the case, and I don’t think that’s important when you’re talking about a man’s freedom, when the state of Missouri was easy to take his freedom away,” Gray said.

“The law does not make it easy for an innocent person to prove innocence and be released from prison,” O’Brien said.

Despite the uphill battle, Gray said she and Kidd are optimistic that one day he will be a free man.

There is no timeline on when the Supreme Court justices could hand down their decision. But it is expected to take at least a month.

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