Supreme Court Asked to Hear Pontotoc Man’s Appeal
JACKSON (AP) – John Ray Kidd, a Pontotoc County man convicted of sexual assault in an attack on a woman who had accepted a ride home from him, is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to listen to his post-conviction arguments for a new trial.
Kidd has filed five post-conviction petitions with the Mississippi Supreme Court. All have been denied, including the most recent in July. The Mississippi court ruled that Kidd didn’t file the most recent petition within the three years after conviction as required by law and raised no issue on which he could win a new trial.
The attorney general’s office has until Dec. 18 to respond to Kidd’s U.S. Supreme Court petition.
Kidd was convicted in 1999 in Union County and was sentenced to 25 years for sexual battery and 30 years each on two counts of rape. The sentences were to run consecutively. The Mississippi court upheld his conviction in 2001.
The 26-year-old woman suffered physical substantial trauma during the incident, according to testimony in the case.
Authorities said the woman accepted Kidd’s offer to give her a ride from work to her home in eastern Lee County after a co-worker vouched for him.
Instead of taking her home, Kidd reportedly held a gun to her head and drove into Pontotoc County, where sexually assaulted her and then into Union County where he sexually assaulted her again, authorities said.
The woman was finally returned to Tupelo, where she was dropped off at a gas station, authorities said.
In his July filing in Mississippi court, Kidd argued that he was denied a fair trial when prosecutors were allowed to bring up prior charges on which he was acquitted while questioning witnesses and in closing arguments.