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Kansas father freed from prison after 17 years after police find his lookalike who also shared his first name

June 12, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Kansas father freed from prison after 17 years after police find his lookalike who also shared his first name

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Richard Anthony Jones who had spent 17 years for a crime he didn’t commit has been freed after authorities tracked down his lookalike.

The Kansas native was released on Thursday because a judge determined that there was no longer adequate evidence to find him guilty.

Jones had been incarcerated for armed robbery in 1999 based on a witness statement. During a new hearing into the case, witnesses who testified against him said they couldn’t tell the difference between Jones and “Ricky,” whose resemblance to Jones is uncanny and who strangely has the same first name.

A judge ordered his release because there was no physical, DNA or fingerprint evidence that tied him to the crime and the victims who accused him of robbery concluded they couldn’t tell Richard, right, from ‘ Ricky’, left

The judge ruled for Jones’ to be released because no physical, DNA or fingerprint evidence ties him to the offense. Furthermore, Jones resided on the other side of Kansas while his lookalike lived in the same area the robbery took place.

“I don’t believe in luck, I was blessed,” Jones said to the Kansas City Star.

Jones appealed his case multiple times to no avail while he served his sentence. Two years ago, he heard about a man who looked just like him in prison and even had the same first name.

Believing that this could be the answer to his exoneration, he called the Midwest Innocent Project – a non-profit that provides legal services to the wrongly-convicted – to help establish his case.

‘I don’t believe in luck, I believe I was blessed,’ Jones told the Kansas City Star. Jones says he is happy he can now spend time with his children

“We were floored by how much they looked alike,” one attorney working on Jones’ case said.

During the new trial, Richard Anthony Jones repeated his alibi that he was with his girlfriend and her family at the time the victim indicated that she was robbed in a park.

His lookalike “Ricky” also took the stand and refused to admit that he committed the crime.

Seeing the doppelgängers side by side, the victims verified to the judge they were no longer confident about who committed the robbery.

Jones’ attorneys also contended that the lineup of men the police had put forward to the victims 17 years ago was suggestive” because he was the only one who looked like the culprit they described.

Jones is now getting used to life outside of jail and says he’s thrilled to be back with his kids.

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