In a sudden turn of events, a man released after 17 years in prison
A man named Richard Anthony Jones has been released from a Kansas prison after serving 17 years for a crime he didn’t commit, after his lookalike was found. Jones was sentenced to 19 years for a 1999 robbery he has always maintained he didn’t commit.
Jones was found guilty of the robbery in a Walmart based on eyewitness evidence. Jones tried to have his conviction appealed but each effort was denied. There was no physical or DNA evidence linking him to the crime.
Some inmates told him about a prisoner named Ricky who they said looked exactly like him and in the year 2015, Jones told the Midwest Innocence Project about his this guy named, Ricky. The group discovered Ricky lived near the scene of the crime, in Kansas City, Kansas, while Jones lived in Kansas City, Missouri.
“When I saw the picture of my double it all made sense to me,” -Jones said.
Ricky on the left, Richard on the right. Credits to KPD.
On Wednesday, witnesses, including the victim of the robbery, testified in Johnson County District Court that, after looking at photographs of both men, they could no longer say Jones was the man who committed the crime.
Judge Kevin Moriarty ordered Jones’ release, saying no juror would have convicted Jones based on the new evidence. As for Ricky, he also testified and denied committing the crime. Jones was tied to the crime when his photograph was picked out of a police database three months after the robbery. His lawyers described the lineup as “highly suggestive,” as Jones was the only person in the lineup resembling the description of the suspect.
“None of the other photos matched the description provided by the witnesses,” -Alice Craig, Jones’ attorney.