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Keith Carnes' attorney says he has 'clean slate'

Keith Carnes Lawyer INT.jpg
Posted at 9:21 PM, Apr 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-09 00:04:14-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Taylor Rickard, one of Keith Carnes' lawyers, says Friday marks thebeginning of a clean slate for Carnes.

He will soon be released from prison after Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker's Office said Friday they are dismissing charges against him because of insufficient evidence to retry the case of Carnes allegedly killing Larry White.

“I can’t wait to give him a hug, not as a client anymore but as my friend and as a free man,” Rickard said.

Rickard has been working on Carnes' case since 2016.

“I’m so happy for Keith,” she said. “I think about the fact that he spent nearly 19 years of his life in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, and just the thought of he gets to leave prison, spend time with his family. It makes all the struggles litigating this case worth it.”

She says Carnes' case is just another example of injustice within the legal system.

“Keith has been so incredibly patient and understanding during this entire process, so much that I very much respect how he’s handled all of this,” she said.

Rickard’s work will continue to try and make it less challenging to raise a claim of innocence in the state of Missouri.

“In cases where we’re looking at only eyewitness testimony that’s implicating somebody in a crime, there needs to be a microscope on those testimonies because a lot of wrongful convictions are the result of false testimonies,” Rickard said.

She says such change begins with prosecutors and police ensuring truthful statements so a man who has always claimed his innocence doesn’t see nearly two decades behind bars.

“All he cares about is getting out and getting to start his life over,” Rickard said. “I don’t think he has it out for anyone or any negative feelings — he just wants to get out and start his life.”