Richard Anthony Jones from Kansas City, Kansas, was set free from jail this week after he served 19 years out of a lifetime sentence. Jones was a father and husband, and 19 years ago was accused of an armed robbery. Though Jones said he was innocent, witnesses identified him being at the scene of the crime.
It turned out that Jones had an incredible look alike, who even shared his first name.
Jones had attempted to appeal his case several times, especially because the court did not find any DNA evidence that Jones was involved with the crime. Finally, Jones heard of a man who look a lot like him, also in the prison system.
The Daily Mail reports:
A man who spent 17 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit has been released after police found his lookalike.
Richard Anthony Jones from Kansas City, Kansas, was set free on Thursday because a judge declared there was no longer sufficient evidence to convict him.
Jones had been jailed for armed robbery in 1999 based on an eyewitness account. During a new hearing into his case, witnesses who testified against him said they couldn’t tell Jones from ‘Ricky’, whose resemblance to the freed man is uncanny and who eerily shares his first name.
The judge ordered Jones’s release because there was no physical, DNA or fingerprint evidence that tied him to the crime. What’s more, Jones lived on the other side of Kansas while his lookalike lived in the same area the incident occurred.
‘I don’t believe in luck, I believe I was blessed,’ Jones told the Kansas City Star.
Jones appealed his case several times to no avail while he served his 19-year jail sentence. Two years ago however, he heard about a man in prison who looked just like him and even shared his first name.
Realizing that this could be the key to his exoneration, he contacted the Midwest Innocent Project – a non-profit organization that provides legal services to the wrongly-convicted – to help argue his case.
‘We were floored by how much they looked alike,’ said an attorney working on Jones’ case.
During the new trial, Jones reiterated his alibi that he was with his girlfriend and her family at the time the victim reported she was robbed in a park.