A man has been freed from jail after serving 17 years in prison — for a crime his look-alike allegedly committed.
Richard Anthony Jones was released from prison after serving a sentence for his doppelganger. In 1999, Jones was convicted of robbery in Kansas City, Missouri. Eyewitnesses described the suspect to the police, and Jones, who matched the description, was then put behind bars.
But now, after nearly two decades in jail, authorities realized that the robber was not actually Jones, but allegedly his doppelganger who lives in the same residential area and also has the same first name.
Jones was repeatedly informed by other inmates about a man who looked just like him. He then got in touch with the Midwest Innocence Project and the Paul E. Wilson Defender Project at the University of Kansas in 2015, and asked for their assistance to prove his innocence.
The investigation ended with the lawyers getting their hands on Jones’ doppleganger’s picture, and that’s when everyone could finally make sense of what had happened.
"When I saw that picture, that made sense to me... Either you're gonna think they're the same person or you're gonna be like, these guys look so much alike," Jones told the Kansas City Star.
The pictures of the two men were so similar that they couldn’t be told apart. Interestingly, investigators were able to track down his look-alike who is known as Ricky. He denied committing the robbery.
However, Jones has been released since there is no longer sufficient evidence to prove that he is the criminal.
The freed man who now looks forward to spending more time with his family said: “It’s been a rough ride … for a while, they didn’t understand, they just knew I wasn’t there. Everything else will just come together on its own when it’s meant to come together.”
A volunteer, Nicole Marie has set up a GoFundMe page to help Jones get a hold on life, and so far around $9,000 has been collected toward a $15,000 goal.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters