Cuyahoga County

Prosecutors won't fight attempts by 3 men to gain millions for wrongful imprisonment of 1975 slaying

12/9/2014 12:30:00 PM

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cuyahoga County prosecutors say they will not fight attempts by three men to gain more than $4.1 million in compensation for their wrongful imprisonments of a 1975 murder that they didn't commit.

Mary McGrath, an assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutor, filed documents Tuesday morning that said her office considers Wiley Bridgeman, his brother Kwame Ajamu and Ricky Jackson innocent of the slaying of Harold Franks, who was brutally attacked in front of a Cleveland convenience store.

Jackson, 57, and Bridgeman, 60, spent 39 years in prison for the murder; Ajamu, who previously was known as Ronnie Bridgeman, spent 28 years behind bars. Their convictions were thrown out after a key witness in the case recanted his testimony during a hearing last month in Common Pleas Court.

Eddie Vernon testified at the hearing that he was 12 when he went to police and lied about seeing Franks' slaying. He said a friend gave him the three names, and he told police detectives, who fed him information on the case.

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