A Kansas City man who has been in prison for two decades for a double murder has long claimed he is innocent.
And now a Kansas City Police commissioner as well as a former prosecutor who have reviewed his case are also saying he is innocent.
But Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said it’s too late for Ricky Kidd because he did not appeal it in time.
However, the Midwest Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to exonerated innocent people imprisoned for crimes they did not commit, is fighting to get him freed.
Kidd is serving two life sentences at a maximum security prison in Cameron, Missouri without the possibility of parole for the 1996 double murder of two men.
There is no physical or forensic evidence linking Kidd to the murder in which three men killed two men in a drug ripoff.
In fact, one of the convicted killers testified that Kidd was not involved in the double murder.
And the four-year-old daughter of one of the victims who witnessed the murders did not identify him as one of the killers.
Also, Kidd was at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department on the same day of the murders, according to records.
However, his attorney at the time failed to obtain the VHS surveillance video showing him at the sheriff’s office.
But records show they conducted a criminal background search on Kidd at 1:37 p.m. that day, just over two hours after the 11:30 a.m. murder.
The only reason he became a suspect was because police received an anonymous tip saying he was one of the killers, which appears to have been placed by one of the actual killers, according to the Midwest Innocence Project.
The murders took place on February 6, 1996 when three men wearing black skull caps robbed and murdered George Bryant and Oscar Bridges in Kansas City at Bryant’s home.
The three men were robbing a drug house. In an apparent dash for drugs and cash, the men fatally shot Bryant and Bridges.
Kidd became a suspect only after anonymous crime stoppers tips were called in to police. With not much to go on, police arrested Kidd.
The murder weapon was never found. During trial, Jackson County Sergeant Tim Buffalow verified Kidd’s gun permit application.
“We know who the killers are,” said Kansas City Police Commissioner Alvin Brooks.
“One of them is dead, one is in the penitentiary, the other is still on the street. The one in the penitentiary gave a sworn deposition that Kidd was not with him.”
Commissioner Brooks is referring to Kidd’s alleged co-conspirator Marcus Merrill. Merrill claims that Kidd was not even with him at the time of the murder.
Merrill, instead, swore that his accomplices were a pair of men named Gary Goodspeed Sr. and Gary Goodspeed Jr., one who passed away, the other who is still free.
Former Jackson County Prosecutor Cindy Dodge said she was reluctant to believe Kidd was innocent until she started her own investigation.
“Ricky didn’t commit these murders,” she said. “He is innocent. There’s no question in my mind. I wouldn’t be working on this and spending hundreds of hours of free time.”
Dodge is Kidd’s current public defender, who is representing him pro-bono. Kidd’s first attorney failed to retrieve VHS surveillance tapes of the sheriffs department where Kidd applied for a gun permit, which would have confirmed Kidd’s alibi.
The National Association Against Police Brutality has joined in the fight to free Kidd.
According to official court documents— here is the problem now, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office will only allow new evidence to be submitted to Kidd’s appeal. The documented gun permit alibi is considered old evidence because it was submitted during the initial trial.
However, in February 2016, the court declared an order for DNA testing. Physical evidence from the scene will be tested for DNA and eventually compared with Kidd’s DNA.
But there is a chance that could prove to be inconclusive.
Click here to read all the documents pertaining to Ricky Kidd’s case.
Last month, we reported on another incarcerated man in Missouri who is likely innocent, but who was not granted a new trial by the state because he is not on death row.