A judge said that Richard Anthony Jones’s conviction was totally wrong and freed him. He was also given $1.1 million in compensation.
Jones spent a year in jail in 1999 for robbing a Walmart with a gun the summer before. Jones was named as the thief by someone who saw it happen.
The same witness couldn’t tell the difference between Jones and Ricky Amos in 2017, when Jones’s case was brought up again. Amos looks a lot like Jones.
Jones also lived on the other side of Kansas, but the person who looked like Jones lived in the area where the cri*me happened.
Also, Jones wasn’t linked to the cri*me by DNA, fingerprints, or anything else.
Jones tried more than once to change his case, but it never worked.
That changed in 2015, when he learned that someone in jail looked and sounded a lot like him.
The two men, Amos and Jones, are about the same age and have light brown skin, beards, and braids. Amos says he had nothing to do with the cr*ime and won’t be charged because the cri*me could not be done in time.
The Midwest Innocent Project is a non-profit that helps people who were wrongfully convicted get legal help. Jones called them. In his mind, this man might have been the one who did it.
A lawyer working on Jones’ case said, “We were shocked by how much they looked alike.”
“Everyone has a doppelganger, and we were lucky to find his.”
The other man’s lawyers from the Midwest Innocence Project and the Paul E. Wilson Defender Project at the University of Kansas brought him up at a hearing in June 2017.
Judge Kevin Moriarty in Johnson County let Jones go after the victim and witnesses said Jones wasn’t the person who did it. The judge didn’t say that the other man did the cri*me, but he did say that with the new evidence, no reasonable juror would have found Jones gu*ilty. The other man, whose name was “Ricky,” said at the hearing that he did not do the cri*me.
“We are very happy with the outcome,” said Tricia Bushnell, who is in charge of the Midwest Innocence Project and worked on Jones’s case. “This is why we all worked so hard in Kansas to get compensation.” Many thanks, Richard. Now he can begin to rebuild his life after the years he lost.
There was a lot of attention on Jones because witnesses picked out his picture from a police database three months after the cri*me. Jones’ lawyers said that the lineup of photos shown to the robbery victim and other witnesses was “highly suggestive” and that Jones’ picture was the only one that fit the suspect’s description.
Jones was shown to be innocent and will get health care and counselling from the state for two years as part of the settlement.
Jones was then let go, and he could see his kids again.
He said, “It’s been a rough ride for my kids, but they’re now old enough to understand.”
In 2018, the state of Kansas gave him a settlement of $1.1 million.
Life After Prison
On February 25, 2019, police in Kansas City were called to a fight between Jones and a family member. The U.S. Attorney’s office says they saw a gun in his waistband when he ran away from the police.
Following a week, police tried to stop Jones from getting into a car. As Jones tried to get away from police, they said he did so “in a dangerous way and at high speeds” before he lost control of his car and crashed.
After that, he got out of the car and ran away. He was caught after a short chase.
Before the judge overturned his robbery conviction, Jones was found gu*ilty of breaking into a car, robbing someone, and selling a drug that was illegal.