In a truly shocking case of mistaken identity, a man who spent 17 years in prison for a crime he did not commit has been released from jail.
Richard Anthony Jones from Kansas City, Kansas, was able to walk free from his almost twenty year nightmare on Thursday because a judge declared there was “no longer sufficient evidence to convict him.”
Richard Jones had been jailed for armed robbery in 1999. But his incarceration was based solely on eyewitness accounts.
But during a new hearing into his case, witnesses who testified against him in the first trial admitted they could not tell Jones apart from another man named ‘Ricky.’
And you can see why. The resemblance between Ricky and Jones is uncanny.
Even more eerily Jones lived on the other side of Kansas, whilst his lookalike Ricky lived in the same area when the robbery took place.
The judge ordered Jones’s to be released from prison after declaring there was “no physical, DNA or fingerprint evidence” that linked him to the crime.
‘I don’t believe in luck, I believe I was blessed,’ Jones told the Kansas City Star.
But Jones was in a legal nightmare. He appealed his case several times to no avail.
Then two years ago Jones heard about a man in prison who looked just like him. Heeven shared his first name.
He soon realized that this could be the key to his exoneration.
Jones contacted the Midwest Innocent Project – a non-profit organization that provides legal services to the wrongly-convicted.
‘We were floored by how much they looked alike,’ said an attorney working on Jones’ case.
During the new trial, Jones confirmed that he could not have committed the robbery. He has claimed for over a decade that he was with his girlfriend and her family at the time the victim reported the crime.
His lookalike ‘Ricky’ also took the stand and denied committing the robbery.
Having seen the doppelgängers next to one another, the victims of the armed robbery confirmed to the judge they were no longer sure who committed the crime.
Jones’s lawyers also argued that the lineup of men the police had put forward to the victims 17 years ago was ‘highly suggestive.’
The attorneys claim that out of all the pictures the victims were shown Jones was the only who resembled the criminal they described.
Jones is now trying to adjust to life after jail and says he’s happy to be back with his children.
‘When it comes to my kids, it’s been a rough ride, but they are now at an age where they can understand,’ he said.
He told the Kansas City Star that he understood why the victims made the terrible mistake after seeing ‘Ricky’.
‘Everybody has a doppelgänger,’ said an attorney on Jones’ case. ‘Luckily we found his.’