After serving 18 years in prison for a crime he says he didn’t commit, Keith Carnes is now a free man.
The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office on dismissed all charges against Carnes after the Missouri Supreme Court ruled last week that Carnes should be released within 30 days pending a potential retrial.
There will not be a retrial.
In the ruling, judges said Carnes, who had been serving a life sentence, had successfully demonstrated that state prosecutors had failed to disclose material evidence during the case, which is a Brady violation.
In 2003, Carnes was convicted of armed criminal action and first-degree murder of Larry White, who was shot in a parking lot at 29th and Prospect Avenue. Two witnesses said they saw Carnes shoot White, but later recanted their testimonies.
One of the witnesses said the assistant prosecutor at the time, Amy McGowan had coerced her into identifying Carnes. McGowan was also involved in prosecuting Ricky Kidd who was convicted of a double homicide and exonerated 23 years later.
In 2020, a private investigator found new evidence in the case that they say would support Carnes’ innocence. They also found that some of the case documents were forged with Carnes’ signature.
Miracle of Innocence, an organization that helps those wrongly incarcerated get released from prison has been fighting for Carnes’ release. They say there is no physical evidence connecting Carnes to the shooting.
The Miracle of Innocence organization, founded by exonerees Darryl Burton and Lamonte McIntyre said they’re prepared to help Carnes with the transition back into society.