Twice-convicted murderer Carlos E. Kennedy was in court again this morning to face charges of indecent exposure after showing his genitals to a female corrections officer at Mobile Metro Jail earlier this month.
Kennedy, who was convicted in 2013 for killing Zoa White in her Springhill Avenue home, successfully appealed to have his death sentence overturned last year. In April, he represented himself in a retrial based on the same charges and evidence.
Despite calling no witnesses, presenting no evidence and only speaking to answer direct questions, Kennedy dodged the death penalty in the retrial. While the second group of jurors arrived at the same conclusion as those in 2013 — that Kennedy raped and beat White to death with a claw hammer after breaking into her home — eight of them didn’t feel he deserved to die for it.
As a result, Kennedy was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on May 5.
However, the recent charges against Kennedy suggest he exposed himself to a women tasked with guarding him only days after he received the reduced sentence.
According to Lori Myles, a spokesperson with the Mobile County Sheriff Office, a female corrections officer at Mobile Metro Jail reported Kennedy exposed himself to her on May 8.
“The majority of our corrections officers are female,” Myles said. “In a perfect world, you’d have female guards responsible for female inmates and male guards responsible for male inmates, but that’s just not possible with the staff we have currently.”
According to Myles, it’s also not the first time Kennedy has subjected female corrections officers to this type of behavior.
According to jail investigators, Kennedy was cited for four similar incidents between March and November of 2012 while he was awaiting his first trial for White’s murder. Prior to his arrest in the White case, jail records show Kennedy was also charged in a separate incident of indecent exposure in 2009.The latest charge is the sixth time Kennedy has been reported of exposing himself in public or in custody. A Class-A misdemeanor, indecent exposure is typically handled in municipal court, but Kennedy landed in Mobile County District Court because it happened in a county facility.
After sitting through two trials and seeking justice for more than half a decade, White’s family was upset that Kennedy even had the opportunity to commit another crime in Mobile County when he was sentenced to serve a life sentence in a state prison less than a month ago.
White’s daughter Laurie Miller told Lagniappe Kennedy shouldn’t continue to be housed at the expense of the city and county when he’s already been convicted twice.
“He has been sentenced to death, and he has been sentenced to life without parole. Neither of those sentences can be efficiently or effectively carried out in Mobile County Metro Jail,” Miller said. “He needs to serve his time as reprimanded in a State Penitentiary. My family should not have to pass the jail every time we go through the tunnel and know he is there.”
According to Myles, the delay in transferring Kennedy does cost local dollars, but she said it’s the responsibility of the Alabama Department of Corrections to move him to a state facility.
“There are all kinds of reasons the state has — either they don’t have room for him or they’re waiting to group him with other people they need to transport,” Myles said. “We’re just sort of stuck with their timeline.”
Lagniappe reached out to the Department of Corrections on Thursday morning. Public information officer Bob Horton responded and said, ” a person sentenced to state prison is transferred from a county jail within 30 days.”
“ADOC received the court transcripts for Kennedy’s sentence on May 10,” Horton wrote. “He will be transferred from the Mobile County Jail to the Alabama Department of Corrections by June 10.”
Though Kennedy has a transfer date set, the new charges could possibly extend his stay in Mobile. Kennedy was in District Judge George N. Hardesty, Jr.’s courtroom May 26 for an initial appearance for his indecent exposure charge.
Hardesty did not grant bond in this particular case on the basis that it would be superseded by the life sentence Circuit Judge Charles A. Graddick imposed on Kennedy earlier this month. A trial date on the new charge was also set for June 16 in Mobile District Court.
Despite appealing his 2013 conviction because he was prevented from acting as his own attorney, Kennedy asked the court to appoint a public defender to assist with his most recent charge.
Local defense attorney Jason Darley, who served as assistant counsel in Kennedy’s previous cases, was also selected to represented him during whatever court actions comes from his newest charge.
Though a misdemeanor conviction couldn’t possibly add to a life sentence, it would be up to the Mobile County District Attorney’s office to drop the charges against Kennedy. If they don’t, the trial will proceed like any other.
Assistant District Attorney Queena Ruffin was representing the state in court on Thursday, but calls to her office about Kennedy’s pending charges have not been returned.
It’s possible the newest charges against Kennedy could be brought up in an appeal of his second conviction, which he has a legal right to file through June 9, though as of May 26, state court records currently show no appeal had been filed.
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