Man spent 17 years in jail for crime committed by his lookalike, granted $1 million in compensation

Credit: Kansas City Police Department

After reading this story, many of us who have entertained the thought of having a doppelganger may wish they hadn’t.

This is due to a man who was wrongly incarcerated for a crime committed by his look-alike, who was awarded $1 million in compensation after spending 17 years in prison.


In 2000, Richard Jones was wrongly convicted of aggravated robbery. However, it wasn’t until several years later that the mistake was revealed after the victim and witnesses were presented with a photograph of his lookalike, Ricky Amos.

In 1999, a man tried to steal a woman’s handbag in the parking lot of a Walmart located in Roeland Park, Kansas.

Although Jones had a solid alibi, being with his girlfriend in Kansas City, and there was a lack of evidence at the scene, he was still found guilty.

Eyewitnesses mistakenly identified Jones as the culprit by selecting his photo from a series of mugshots.

Despite numerous attempts, Jones was unsuccessful in appealing his sentence.

Credit: Kansas City Police Department

The Midwest Innocence Project and the University of Kansas School of Law collaborated to clear Jones’ name. During their investigation, they discovered that his lookalike, Amos, was incarcerated in the same prison as him.

As a result, a judge showed the victim and eyewitnesses a lineup of Jones’ and Amos’ photos, but they were unable to distinguish between them. Furthermore, there was no physical evidence, DNA, or fingerprints that linked Jones to the crime.

Although Amos denied committing the robbery, he was ultimately convicted in Jones’ place, and Jones was finally able to reunite with his family. However, since the statute of limitations had expired, Amos could not be prosecuted for the crime.

Credit: Facebook / Midwest Innocence Project

Upon his release in 2017, Jones considered himself fortunate and attributed his release to a blessing. He acknowledged the challenges his children faced during his incarceration but noted that they were now old enough to comprehend the situation.

In addition to his freedom, Jones received a certificate of innocence and compensation for the time he spent in prison. Reflecting on his ordeal, Jones remarked to the Kansas City Star that he did not believe in luck but felt that he was blessed.

The attorney who worked on the case expressed astonishment at the striking resemblance between Jones and Amos. This similarity underscores the importance of considering the possibility of a doppelgänger when falsely accused of a crime.