Judge: Evidence indicates Kansas City murder convict is innocent

Marc LaVoie
August 15, 2019 - 8:39 am

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A judge has ruled that a man is innocent of two murders in Kansas City for which he was sent to prison more than two decades ago.

Ricky Kidd was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the deaths of George Bryant and Oscar Bridges. Kidd told officials he was with his girlfriend at the time of the murders. Eyewitnesses who testified against Kidd recanted. One witness in the case was a victim's traumatized 4-year-old daughter.

Kidd always maintained his innocence while co-defendant Marcus Merrill confessed. 

"Still it takes over 23 years to correct the injustice, not because folks were saying he wasn't innocent, but because they were arguing about procedure," said Tricia Bushnell with the Midwest Innocence Project.

"The transition is going to be difficult when he comes come," said Darryl Burton with the Miracle of Innocence organization. "He's fixing to come home to a 'Twilight Zone.' It's going to be a whole different world. I don't even know if they had the internet when he left. They probably didn't have the internet or Google."

DeKalb County Judge Daren Adkins said in his ruling that there was clear and convincing evidence that Kidd is innocent, and that the real killers were Merrill and two other men. Adkins ordered the state to release Kidd unless he is retried within 30 days.

A spokesman for Attorney General Eric Schmitt says the office is reviewing the ruling.

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