JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Supreme Court has determined that Keith Carnes, a man convicted of murder, should be released from his life sentence.

Earlier today the Missouri Supreme Court concluded that Carnes had met the burden of proof necessary to establish his claim that the state failed to disclose material evidence for the murder of 24-year old Larry White in 2003.

Carnes should be released from his sentence within 30 days unless the state wants to retry the case. 

Carnes was serving a life sentence for a 2003 murder but said he was innocent. His attorney, Kent Gipson, said there was a lack of physical evidence and witnesses have recanted their statements, but the attorney general’s office said Carnes is guilty. 

Back in 2020, a defense attorney and private investigator uncovered new evidence in the case which they say supports Carnes’ innocence. They claim there is a lack of physical evidence and that some court documents were forged with Carnes’ signature. 

Last year, the state’s highest court appointed a special judge to review the case. Judge William Hickle, the special master appointed to the case, filed a 100-plus page report that focused on the factual findings of the case. In January, the Supreme Court refused to immediately release Carnes and instead said they would expedite the case.