Man responsible for crimes apologizes after another man served nearly 10 years

Posted at 11:32 PM, Jun 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-21 00:10:20-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- When Christian Amos suspected that his eight-year-old grandson broke a neighbor's window, he confronted the boy.

"Asked him if he did, and he said ‘no I didn't,’" Amos said from inside the Riverside Regional Jail.

But the next day, his grandson confessed, so Amos urged him to apologize for what he did.

"I walked him over there, and I stood in the driveway and I made him go up to the door by himself and he did and he was just so… he was so brave," Amos said.

"I was so proud of him. It left me feeling like a hypocrite," he said tearfully.

Christian Amos

Amos said he felt that way because a decade ago when he robbed two banks in Petersburg and Prince George, he never owned up to the crimes.

"I kept it all inside me, nobody knew anything about it," Amos said.

"Was it always kind of present in your mind?" CBS 6 Problem Solver investigator Melissa Hipolit asked.

"It was almost every day. I knew I had to make it right, but I never had the courage, it's hard to explain," Amos responded.

Amos said he robbed the banks to get money to buy heroin.

He said he became addicted to opioids after he broke his leg in a motorcycle crash.

"It was easy. It probably took less than a minute, in and out, and then I went to Richmond and took care of my needs," Amos said.

Amos got away scot-free, and for ten years went about life, but that day his grandson owned up to his indiscretion, Amos said he felt inspired to confess to his crimes.

"I called the Prince George 911 dispatch and told her what I had did, and she said we're not looking for you, and I said that's because I was never caught, they thought I was crazy," Amos said.

Police ultimately believed Amos and charged him with the robberies, but what Amos learned next shocked him.

"Did you know somebody else had been convicted?" Hipolit asked.

"I felt so good when I turned myself in. I confessed, I felt so relieved at peace, and then my first visit here from my attorney... he came up here and he told me did you know somebody was serving a prison sentence for the crime I had committed?" Amos said.

Bush and Amos

"I had no idea, he told me that, and I just broke down, I wept," Amos said before breaking down in tears.

Amos said he never knew that police had arrested and convicted another man for the crimes he had committed.

"I had no idea my actions would have caused so much pain and suffering for Gary Bush. He missed his daughter's wedding, 10 years of his life, because of me," Amos said.

CBS 6 talked to Bush at his parents' home in Covington, Virginia nearly a year after he was released.

Bush served nearly 10 year in prison before Amos came forward.

He had been convicted because four separate witnesses identified him in lineups as the robber.

Gary Bush

"Did you see that three separate bank tellers identified Mr. Bush?" Hipolit asked.

"I can't believe that, we don't even look alike, it just shows you our justice system isn't perfect," Amos said.

Amos is now serving the same sentence, and the Innocence Project at UVA is working to clear Bush's name and get him compensation from the state.

Amos said he wept while watching our story with Bush from inside his cell.

"Can you imagine now that you're in prison what he must have felt day in day out knowing he didn't do something and yet he was there for it?" Hipolit asked.

"And he had the strength to keep going, better man than I am," Amos replied.

Christian Amos

When CBS6 talked to Bush, he said he does not hold any ill-will toward Amos.

"You know he doesn't blame you," Hipolit said.

"He doesn't, but I blame myself," Amos responded.

A man Bush has never met, but a man whose crimes he paid for, for nearly a decade.

"I'm so sorry, I wish I could make it right," Amos said.  "When it’s all said and done it’s my fault, it's not the justice system, if I hadn't done what I did, it’s on my shoulders."

Amos said he really wants to meet Bush and apologize to him in person.

He said he's hoping Bush will visit him in jail, or at the very least, exchange letters with him.

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