Kansas City Police Commissioner Alvin Brooks and former Jackson County Prosecutor Cindy Dodge have publicly stated that Ricky Kidd, who is serving two life sentences without the possibility of parole, is innocent (video below).
"He didn’t do it, and I know he didn’t do it," Brooks told KSHB.
"I have zero doubt about his innocence," Dodge added. "He is innocent."
Kidd was convicted of the fatal shooting of George Bryant and Oscar Bridge in 1996.
"It was not Ricky Kidd," Brooks insisted. "It was another person, but they did look a little alike."
Kidd, who is being held at a prison in Cameron, Missouri, told the news station of Brooks: "I really give him a lot of credit for having the will power to be able to say, 'Hey, this ain’t right!'"
"Why is it difficult for the state to correct injustice?" Kidd added.
According to Kidd, there is no physical evidence linking him to the double-homicide; a witness for the prosecution changed their story and a public defender didn't pursue Kidd's alibi.
"This is how messed up my trial was," Kidd recalled.
Kidd applied for a gun permit at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department on the same day of the double-homicide.
Monica Gray, who had a child with Kidd, said that she was with him at the time of the murders: "You would think that would be a tight enough alibi to be at a sheriff’s department at the time of the murders."
Dodge said that her former co-workers at the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office "have thrown up barriers wherever they can and objected to everything."
"As a former prosecutor and colleague of the current prosecutor, I do not understand it," Dodge added. "You’d have to ask [current prosecutor] Jean [Peters Baker]. I don’t know."
Peters refused to speak to KSHB. Her office said that Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is in charge of the case.
Koster also refused to speak to the news station, and referred questions to his office's court filing that said Kidd missed his opportunity to appeal, and that Kidd is only allowed to show newly-discovered evidence.
"They’re not even arguing that I’m not innocent," Kidd stated.
The Midwest Innocence Project (MIP), which has taken up Kidd's case, notes on its website:
Witnesses to the crime testified that three men entered Bryant’s home in the middle of the day ... Ricky became the lead suspect in the case after an anonymous tip came in naming him as one of the killers; evidence suggests this phone tip may have been called in by one of the actual perpetrators...
Ricky and co-defendant Marcus Merrill were charged with the crime. Merrill had flown to Kansas City from Atlanta shortly before the murder with two individuals, Gary Goodspeed, Sr., and Gary Goodspeed, Jr. The three of them—Merrill and the Goodspeeds—alibied themselves together at the time of the crime. Although all evidence indicated three perpetrators were involved, the State never charged a third person or attempted to bring a third person to justice.
Ricky was tried jointly with Merrill, who later confessed to being a real perpetrator in the crime, along with the Goodspeeds.
Unfortunately, Ricky received woefully inadequate counsel. Ricky’s attorney failed to, among other things, investigate Ricky’s solid and verifiable alibi; request a separate trial from Merrill, which would have more accurately presented the lack of evidence against Ricky; and perhaps most damning, failed to object to Merrill’s attorney’s claim that Ricky’s fingerprint was found in the getaway car, when in fact, Ricky’s fingerprint was only found in his own car.
Both Ricky Kidd and Marcus Merrill were convicted and sentenced to life without parole.