Richard Anthony Jones led a quiet life in Missouri, but it all changed when he was arrested one day and charged with an aggravated robbery, a crime he claimed he had nothing to do with.
There was nothing this man didn’t do in order to prove his innocence, but somehow, because of all the circumstances, he failed each time. According to him, at the time the robbery was done, Richard was at his girlfriend’s place together with other people. They all witnessed that Richard had spent the entire night with them, but that didn’t help.
Eventually, after a witness confirmed it was Richard who commited the crime, with no fingerprints or physical evidence found at the scene, he was sentenced to 19 years in prison. It was the year 1999 when Richard started serving his sentence at a prison with highest level of security.
Jones appealed and lost. Then he learned about the Midwest Innocence Project, which partners with the University of Kansas’ Project for Innocence.
Those involved with the project did a thorough research and they finally learned of a man named Ricky Lee Amos who looked exactly like Jones. One would assume they are twins when looking at side-by-side photos of the two.
It was discovered that Amos lived at the address where the crime was reported to had happened, and that made everyone even more suspicious.
When mugshots of both Jones and Amos were shown to the eyewitness after all those years, they were unable to say with certainty that Jones was the robber.
This resulted with the judge tossing out Jones’ conviction. He was freed from prison on June 8, 2017. “I hoped and prayed every day for this day to come, and when it finally got here it was an overwhelming feeling,” Jones told ABC News.
Jones’ case was the first to be resolved under a new mistaken-conviction statute that went into effect earlier in 2018, according to the attorney general’s office.
“We are committed to faithfully administering the new mistaken-conviction statute the legislature enacted,” the attorney general’s office statement read. “In this case, it was possible on the existing record to resolve all issues quickly, satisfy all of the statute’s requirements, and agree to this outcome so Mr. Jones can receive the benefits to which he is entitled by law because he was mistakenly convicted.”
For being wrongfully convicted, Jones received $1.1 million.
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