Man Files $1.1M Lawsuit After Spending 17 Years In Prison 'Due To Doppelganger'
A US man has filed a $1.1 million lawsuit after spending almost 20 years in prison for a crime he says he didn't commit, due to a 'doppelganger'.
Richard A Jones, 42, was convicted of aggravated robbery in Kansas back in 1999 after he was picked out of a line-up by witnesses.
Jones, who has always said he is innocent of the crime, spent 17 years inside Lansing Correctional Facility.
Once there, his fellow prisoners told him he had an uncanny resemblance to another prisoner, Ricky Amos. Not only did the two men have similar facial features and hair styles, they're also almost the same height and weight, and are aged just a year apart.
The similarities between the pair are what eventually lead to Jones' release, after he got in touch with the Midwest Innocent Project and the Project for Innocence at the University of Kansas Law School.
Last year, Jones took his case back before a judge who threw out the conviction after witnesses were unable to tell the men apart when shown the photographs side-by-side.
Jones is now a free man and has filed a lawsuit in the 10th Judicial District Court of Kansas asking for over $1.1 million (£847,000) in compensation, working out to around $65,000 (£50,000) for each year he spent inside.
Jones, who has two daughters and was just 25 when he was convicted, says he did not commit the crime and is now trying to get his life back on track.
Amos, who has charges for robbery, sexual assault and drug possession, denies he commited the crime Jones was found guilty of.
Speaking last year, Alice Craig a lawyer from the University of Kansas Innocence Project who worked on Jones' case, said: "When we pulled up the photos we were shocked.
"We actually pulled it up in the middle of the law clinic class, with all the interns. Everyone was just floored.
"Either you're going to think they're the same person, or you're going to say, 'These guys look so much alike.'"
As reported by NBC News after the decision, Johnson County Judge Kevin Moriarty said: "No reasonable juror would have convicted in light of the new evidence."
He went on to add that the witnesses said they struggled to tell the difference between the two men and 'no longer thought Jones guilty'.
In Kansas there is no law that stipulates that compensation must be paid out to those who have been wrongfully convicted.
After his release, a GoFundMe page was set up, which raised over $25,000 (£19,000).
Featured Image Credit: Kansas Department Of Corrections