KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- A Kansas City man who spent 23 years in prison for a crime he said he did not do is free today.
Ricky Kidd said he’s looking forward to walking on carpet and sitting under a tree. He hasn’t been able to do those things for decades.
Kidd was wrongfully convicted in a 1996 double murder that took place inside a home near Swope Park.
Someone anonymously called in his name to police. His defense team suspects it was the real killer.
Kidd had an alibi. Also, there was no physical evidence that ever linked Kidd to the crime and the gun was never found. However, he was tried and convicted anyway.
He never thought he'd be convicted and that it would take 23 years to prove his innocence.
“I always thought that they would figure it out,” he said. “That, most, I would be inconvenienced for a day or two.”
Another man has confessed to the crime, clearing Kidd, but it still was difficult to get Kidd released.
Kidd’s legal team and family were on standby Thursday, waiting for one final detail to be worked out before he was released.
Then, word came down that he was going to be released from Western Missouri Correctional Center in Cameron, Missouri, around 4 p.m. Thursday.
When he was released, there was a very happy reunion between Kidd and his supporters.
It was also bittersweet, however. Kidd admitted that he is angry.
"I am," he said. "I think you have to be. I think you have to be angry. But, it’s what you do with that. I have found a way to channel that and turn it into passion. And so, in the days and weeks and months ahead, I think you will see that passion emerge in conversations and perhaps interviews."
"I am very angry and I continue to be and we need to be," he said. "We all need to be angry. Taxpayers foot the bill for 23 years, paying for the wrong person to be in prison while the real individual was out there in society. We all should be angry about that and be willing to do something about that."
“The system failed twice,” said Lawyer Sean O’Brien. “It failed when it wrongfully convicted him and it failed when it took 23 years to correct that mistake.”
Kidd was a young father when he was arrested. His daughter, Infiniti Gray, hadn’t even been born yet. She’s now in her 20s.
“A lot of tears,” she said. “I’ve been crying. My face looks terrible. I’m very happy and excited. I just keep saying in my head, ‘I can’t believe this is happening. I can’t believe this is happening. Like, he’s really out.’ We’ve been to so many court dates, so many appeals and we’ve been left crying. And, now I’m . . . crying because he’s getting out.”
After Kidd's release, they all went off to a steak dinner together.
Lamonte McIntrye has been following Kidd’s case very closely. You may remember McIntyre was wrongfully convicted in KCK.
He also spent 23 years in prison.
McIntyre has been one of Kidd’s supporters and, on Thursday, he talked about the challenges of reintegration.
“I am so happy for him,” McIntrye said. “I know he will do well in his life. Just getting on that path to do well, so many different things running through his head. A lot of emotions. Where do you belong in this, a whole different space? I want to be a support system for him. I want to support him any way he can because it’s a journey and he’s started all over.”
McIntyre and Kidd are already in touch.
Both men are represented in part by the Midwest Innocence Project, which works to free wrongfully convicted people. It is based in Kansas City.