Man wrongfully convicted for lookalike's crime awarded $1.1 million
OLATHE, Kan. - A man who spent 17 years in prison for a crime that was committed by his doppelganger has been awarded a $1.1 million settlement from the state of Kansas.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced Wednesday that he agreed to a resolution with Richard Jones, ABC News reports. In addition to the compensation Jones was granted a certificate of innocence, counseling, permission to participate in the state health care benefits program, and records of his arrested and conviction were expunged.
Jones was convicted for attempting to steal a purse in the parking lot of a Walmart in 1999. Reports say there was no physical evidence, DNA or fingerprints that linked Jones to the crime. He also had an alibi. Jones was imprisoned in 2000.
Officials say that at the time, two eyewitnesses misidentified Jones as the suspect.
He was released last year after the Midwest Innocence Project and the University of Kansas School of Law helped uncover the wrongful conviction. ABC reports that a judge ordered Jones be released after witnesses, including the robbery victim, couldn't tell Jones and another inmate, Ricky Amos, apart. The two men are close in age and have similar features.
Authorities said Amos denied any involvement in the crime and wouldn't be prosecuted because the statute of limitations had expired.