Charges Dropped Against Ohio Man After Four Decades
Nearly forty years after an Ohio man was convicted of murder along with two codefendants, he is expected to walk out of prison a free man on Friday. Ricky Jackson and two other men were convicted of killing a money-order collector at a Cleveland grocery store based primarily on the eyewitness testimony of 12-year-old Eddie Vernon who said he saw the crime committed. There was no other evidence linking them to the crime, but they were sentenced to death anyway.
Cleveland Plain Dealer
reported that after a two day hearing, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty told Judge Richard McMonagle that the case against Jackson had fallen apart based on Vernon’s recantation and dismissed the case.
“I can’t believe this is over,” Jackson cried. He thanked his attorneys from the Ohio Innocence Project, Brian Howe and Mark Godsey, and a team of supporters. When someone called Jackson’s family, his eyes, soaked from tears, beamed.
“It’s over,” Jackson yelled into the phone. “I’m coming home. I’m coming home. Be here to get me Friday, please. Let everybody know.”
Ohio Innocence Project
had been seeking a new trial for Jackson for years in an attempt to prove his innocence and correct the injustice that sent the trio to prison in 1975. That all came to an end this week when Vernon told the judge that he lied to police, prosecutors and juries as an attempt to please authorities that spiraled out of control and put Jackson and friends Wiley and Ronnie Bridgeman behind bars.
“All the information was fed to me,” Vernon said. “I don’t have any knowledge about what happened at the scene of the crime.”
Later he said, “Everything was a lie. They were all lies.”
Based on Vernon’s recantation, attorneys who represent the brothers are expected to ask the prosecutor to drop the case against them too.
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