There are many people who manage to escape the long arm of the law, but one of them escaped thanks to a look-alike. Richard Anthony Jones was the unfortunate man who spent 17 years in jail for a crime he did not commit, just because he looked like the real criminal.

The witnesses couldn't tell the men apart

Jones was imprisoned for a robbery 17 years ago, based solely on eyewitness' declarations. Now, police found his look-alike, the real criminal. When asked who was the man who did it, the witnesses couldn't tell the two apart, so the Kansas Police Department had to release Jones, after a judge couldn't find any evidence to link him to the case.

There was no DNA or fingerprint evidence liking Jones to the robbery. Moreover, his lawyers said he was with his girlfriend and her family at the time of the crime.

A blessing, not luck

When police found the real criminal, known by the name Ricky, Jones felt he was blessed. He told the press he doesn't believe in luck, but in God and His blessing. Ricky hasn't been accused for the robbery yet, but the judge who released Jones was unable to find a link between him and the crime, except for the eyewitness' declarations, which are now useless.

But, how was an innocent man convicted? Jones' lawyers blame the faulty identification procedures conducted by the police 17 years ago. As one can see in the photo, the two men do look a lot like each other, which might have puzzled the eyewitnesses, leading them to declare that Jones was the criminal.

'A rough ride'

Since he was convicted, Jones tried to get himself out, but all his appeals had been denied, leading him to lose hope. In 2015 a group that works with wrongly convicted prisoners, Midwest Innocence Project, found a photo of Ricky, Jones' lookalike, after Jones was told by his fellow convicts that he looked exactly like Ricky.

Midwest Innocence Project also found that Ricky lived near the crime scene, in Kansas City, Kansas. Jones, on the other hand, was living in Kansas City, Missouri at the time. When the authorities saw the picture of Ricky, they were stunned to see the resemblance between the two men. Even Jones himself was amazed:

“When I saw the picture of my double it all made sense to me," he said.

(Kansas City Star)

Right now, Jones is happy to be back with his family and he is re-adjusting to life outside of prison. He is grateful for his release after spending 17 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit.