Mistaken Identity Leads Man to Exoneration after 17 Years in Prison

In a moment straight out of a Lifetime movie, a man who spent 17 years in prison was exonerated after it was discovered that another inmate who looks exactly like him could have committed the original crime.

Richard Anthony Jones was convicted of a robbery in Roeland Park, Kansas in 1999 and has since been incarcerated. 

For years he denied any involvement and it wasn't until he was repeatedly told there was another inmate who not only looked exactly like him but also shared his first name, did he begin to connect the pieces. 

Kansas City Prison Doppelganger

"Ricky" on the left, Richard Anthony Jones on the right.

He passed the info on to his lawyers and as they began to dig deeper, they discovered that Jones was innocent.

They found that Jones' "twin", a man known as "Ricky" lived near the area where the crime occurred while Jones lived across the state line in Kansas City.

In a hearing in the Johnson County District Court, witnesses of the crime including the robbery victim testified that upon looking at the men's mugshots side by side, they couldn't definitively say Jones was the perpetrator. 

Based on the new evidence discovered, lack of DNA, fingerprints, etc. linking him to the crime with the added testimony, Jones was released.

The judge didn't quite say that "Ricky" did commit the crime, he said that had a jury known about the doppelganger situation, they wouldn't have reasonably convicted Jones.

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