Judgement upheld for man convicted of kidnapping, burning victim

Judgement upheld for man convicted of kidnapping, burning victim
Kunta Kidd was found guilty of kidnapping and setting a man on fire. (Source: Mississippi Department of Corrections)

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The Mississippi Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of Kunta Kidd, who was found guilty of kidnapping and setting a man on fire in September 2016.

Kidd, of Gulfport, was convicted of aggravated assault and kidnapping by a Forrest County jury on Nov. 14, 2017. Judge Bob Helfrich sentenced Kidd to two consecutive life sentences for the crimes.

According to court documents, Kidd turned himself in to authorities on Sept. 21, 2016. He was wanted in connection with an investigation launched after a man was critically burned on Ruby Avenue in Hattiesburg on Sept. 17, 2016.

The victim testified at trial that Kidd had beaten him, held him at gunpoint, taken his money, and then poured gasoline on him and used a cigarette lighter to set him on fire.

Kidd appealed his convictions, saying “the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions, the jury’s verdicts are against the overwhelming weight of the evidence, he was denied his right to confrontation and his right to compulsory process, the prosecutor engaged in prosecutorial misconduct and he received ineffective assistance of counsel.

The court ruled the arguments Kidd based his appeal on were without merit or were centered around rights that had been waived during his trial.

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