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Friday, November 21, 2014
CLEVELAND -- Their day of freedom has arrived.
After 39 years behind bars for a 1975 Cleveland murder they were wrongfully convicted of, two men were released from prison.
57-year-old Ricky Jackson and 60-year-old Wiley Bridgeman were both released at separate court hearings Friday morning.
When he walked into the courtroom at 9 a.m., Jackson was smiling and waving at people who were present for the hearing.
"Life is filled with small victories, and this is a big one," the judge said to Jackson. "Know who your friends are because everyone is going to want a piece of you. You better trust the people who you know you can trust. So, I wish you good luck."
Immediately following the judge's comments, Jackson made a brief statement.
"I'd like to thank you for conducting the proceedings in a fair and impartial manner," Jackson said. "I would also like to thank the prosecutor's office for showing a lot of integrity. You guys let the evidence be heard and you followed the evidence. I would like to thank you."
Cuyahoga County prosecutors filed a motion Thursday to dismiss charges against Jackson and Bridgeman after the sole witness in the case admitted to lying decades after making his testimony. That witness was 13 years old at the time.
Their convictions stemmed from the murder of a man outside a Cleveland store.
When he rose to his feet a free man, Jackson stared skyward with a smile on his face before exchanging several hugs and walking out the door.
Bridgeman's 57-year-old brother, Ronnie, now known as Kwame Ajamu, has been free since 2003.
Source - wkyc
Link to article
Detroit — A judge on Friday reinstated charges against pitcher Evan Reed who is accused of sexually assaulting a woman last spring when he played for the Detroit Tigers.
Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Michael Callahan heard the prosecutor’s appeal Friday after a district judge on Aug. 21 dismissed criminal sexual conduct charges against Reed, saying the woman’s story wasn't credible.
Callahan said the magistrate abused discretion in dismissing the charges in August before ordering Reed bound over for trial.
The 45-year-old woman claimed Reed, 28, met her in the 5th Avenue bar in Royal Oak on March 29, slipped something into her drink, and took her to his sixth-floor room at the MotorCity Casino. She also claimed he raped her the next morning, a day before the Tigers opened their season.
But 36th District Judge Kenneth King ruled after a preliminary examination in August that the claims had no merit.
“I don’t find her to be a very credible witness,” King said, adding that prosecutors didn’t meet the standard of proof for either force or coercion, or that the woman was incapacitated.
The public should learn today the beginning of the state's case against the Marion Township man accused of murdering an Oceola Township man during a road-rage incident.
District Judge Carol Sue Reader in Howell is expected to hear testimony from witnesses to Martin Edward Zale's fatal shooting of Derek Flemming, who was shot once in the face Sept. 2 when he approached Zale's vehicle while both were stopped on Grand River Avenue at the Chilson Road traffic light in Genoa Township.
The hearing begins at 8:30 a.m. in Reader's courtroom at the Judicial Center in Howell.
Zale, who is being held in jail without bond, is charged with open murder, discharging a pistol from a vehicle and two counts of possessing a pistol in the commission of the murder and the firing of the pistol in connection with the fatal shooting.
Zale's attorney, Melissa Pearce, and family said the defendant had "every right to stand his ground." They say the defense has evidence and facts that support their position. However, they have not released that alleged evidence and it is unknown if Pearce plans to call any witnesses to the stand today.
The defense typically does not call witnesses at this stage of the court proceedings.
Flemming's widow, who watched her husband get shot, reported to police that Zale came fast down a side street toward their 2014 Ford Escape on Grand River Avenue and that he cut them off as he moved in front of them on Grand River Avenue.