Two Cleveland Men Leave Jail After 39 Years
Supporters applauded when 57 year old Ricky Jackson, wearing a stylish argyle sweater, walked out jail this morning a free man. He and two brothers Wiley and Ronnie Bridgeman were 18, 20, and 17 years old respectively when they were accused of murdering a man at a convenience store. A boy told police he saw them do it but this year recanted, saying he was just repeating what he heard on a school bus and what information that the police later told him. Jackson says he has no animosity for the witness.
“People have to remember that – they see him as a grown man today but in ’75 he was a 12 year olf kid. He was manipulated and coerced by the police. They used him; they used him to get us in prison.” :
Jackson credited an investigative story by Scene magazine and legal help from the University of Cincinnati’s Innocence Project for getting him out of jail. He and Wiley Bridgeman were released today. Ronnie Bridgeman was paroled in in 2003. Jackson grew emotional at the thought of a reunion.
"Well I really haven’t had a chance to see em. I saw ‘em briefly in the courtroom but I’m dying to meet them. I want to embrace them and hug them --- excuse me - - - because we’ve been through a lot together. We made it, you know, we’re here, we made it.”
Jackson said he didn't know yet where he was going to live or what he was going to do.