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Man awarded $1m after spending 17 years in prison for crime committed by his doppleganger

Man awarded $1m after spending 17 years in prison for crime committed by his doppleganger

This is why it's not always good to have a lookalike.

Most of us have probably wondered if we've got doppelgänger at some point, but after reading this story, you'll be wishing you didn't.

This is because one man was awarded $1 million in compensation after being forced to serve 17 years behind bars for a crime that his doppelgänger committed.


Richard Jones was falsely imprisoned in 2000 for aggravated robbery, but the mistake wasn't uncovered until years later when his victim and witnesses were shown a picture of his doppelgänger, Ricky Amos.

The men are almost completely identical.
Police Handout

The crime was committed back in 1999 at a Walmart parking lot in Roeland Park, Kansas, where a man had attempted to steal a woman's handbag.

Despite the fact that Jones had an alibi - he was with his girlfriend in Kansas City - and the lack of evidence at the scene, he was convicted.

The mistake was made when eyewitnesses identified Jones as the culprit from a series of mugshots.

Jones attempted to appeal the sentence many times, but was denied every time.

Witnesses could no longer be sure who committed the crime.
Kansas City Police Department

The Midwest Innocence Project and the University of Kansas School of Law eventually went on a mission to clear Jones' name.

And in the process, they discovered that his doppelgänger was actually residing in the same prison as him.

This led a judge to present the victim and eyewitnesses with Jones' mugshot again, and that of another inmate, Amos.

However, they were unable to tell the men apart.

There was also no physical evidence, DNA or fingerprints that ever linked him to the 1999 crime.

Although Amos went on to deny having committed the crime, he was convicted in Jones' place and his doppelgänger was finally allowed to join his family.

However, due to the stature of limitations expiring, Amos will not face prosecution for the crime.

Richard's release was secured by the non-profit.
Facebook / Midwest Innocence Project

Jones said that he believes he was 'blessed' after being finally released in 2017.

"When it comes to my kids, it's been a rough ride, but they are now at an age where they can understand," he said.

Jones also received a certificate of innocence, as well as his compensation.

"I don't believe in luck, I believe I was blessed," Jones told the Kansas City Star.

An attorney who worked on the case said: "We were floored by how much they looked alike."

So, on the off chance that you have a doppelgänger who you're aware of, you might want to keep them in mind if you're ever falsely accused of a crime.

Featured Image Credit: Kansas City Police Department

Topics: US News, Crime