Richard Anthony Jones is released from jail after serving 17 years after coming across his doppelganger who may have actually committed the crime instead.
Richard Anthony Jones a Kansas City, Kansas man has been freed from jail after having served 17 years prison time for a crime he didn’t commit.
The man’s release on Thursday came after authorities arrested a man who Jones bore an uncanny resemblance to in a purse snatching case which saw him deep-sixed after a witness (mistakenly) identified him as the assailant in the 1999 armed robbery.
Along with looking like the real assailant, Jones also had the same first name as the perpetrator, ’Ricky’ with the witness as it now turns out conceding that they were unable to tell the two men apart.
The new revelations led to a judge ordering Jone’s release from jail, given that Jones was convicted with 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 look-alike lived in the same area the incident occurred. Of course, in the end, that didn’t matter. Someone had to go to jail and Jones was kindly asked to do his part for the American prison system.
Told the freed man in an interview with the Kansas City Star, ‘I don’t believe in luck, I believe I was blessed.’
Over the years, Jones had appealed his case several times, to no avail, while serving out his 19 year jail sentence. But things changed just over two years ago after hearing about a man in prison who looked just like him and even sharing 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.
His lookalike ‘Ricky’ also took the stand and denied committing the crime.
Having seen the doppelgängers next to one another, the robbery victims 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’ because he was the only who resembled the criminal they described.
Since his release, Jones has taken to assimilating in the real world, while saying his happy to be back with his children.
Told the father, ‘When it comes to my kids, it’s been a rough ride, but they are now at an age where they can understand’.
Jones said that he understood why the victims made the grave mistake after seeing ‘Ricky’.
‘Everybody has a doppelgänger,’ said an attorney on the case. ‘Luckily we found his.’
Welcome to a brave new America where justice might mean your freedom or at the very least your negotiated freedom for the principle of justice….especially if you happen to be black, a minority, poor or any other undesirable character flaw.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Jones as he adjusts to freedom.