Twin Takes Brother's Place In Jail, Army

VENTURA, Calif. - A man caught impersonating his identical twin in a criminal case said he had served jail sentences for his brother and even took his place in the Army for six months.

Donald Anderson said he has repeatedly taken Ronald Anderson's place because he loves his brother and is better suited to dealing with jail.

"I took my brother's place because he had all these problems," Donald, 43, said in Friday's Los Angeles Times.

"My brother has never been in jail for a long time. I've been in jail. I could handle it."

Donald was caught taking Ronald's place in jail last July. Police were perplexed when Ronald got into trouble for spousal abuse four days after he was supposed to have begun serving a six-month sentence for a previous assault on his wife.

Donald was released, and Ronald was charged with attempted murder, spousal battery and robbery for an attack on his estranged wife. Superior Court Judge Charles Campbell on Wednesday sentenced Ronald to 14 years in prison.

"The judge asked me why I did this, and I said my twin needed help," Donald said. "I am doing all the things I do because I love him."

Donald said that in 1970 he went to South Korea to serve in the Army in place of his brother, who wanted to stay home.

Donald became a crew chief in a helicopter unit.

After that, he served a two-month jail sentence in Philadelphia for his brother. When he returned to Ventura County, he was jailed for traffic tickets Ronald had gotten in his name.

Donald also has done jail time in Ventura County on his own behalf, after a recent petty-theft conviction.