2nd man walks free after judge dismisses 1975 case

Wiley Bridgeman, 60, of Cleveland, left, is all smiles as his brother Ronnie, who is now known as Kwame Ajamu chokes up as they walk from the Cuyahoga County Justice Center after Bridgeman's release from a life sentence for a 1975 murder, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 in Cleveland. The dismissal came after the key witness against Bridgeman, his brother and childhood friend Ricky Jackson recanted last year and said Cleveland police detectives coerced him into testifying that the three killed businessman Harry Franks the afternoon of May 19, 1975. (AP Photo/Phil Long)

CLEVELAND (AP) – A second man convicted nearly 40 years ago in a 1975 Cleveland slaying has walked out of jail a free man.

Sixty-year-old Wiley Bridgeman exited the Cuyahoga County jail just a couple hours after 57-year-old Ricky Jackson did the same.

A judge dismissed the charges against the two men Friday after the key witness against Jackson, Bridgeman and his brother Ronnie Bridgeman at trial, a 13-year-old boy, recanted last year and said Cleveland police detectives coerced him into testifying that the three killed businessman Harry Franks the afternoon of May 19, 1975.

Bridgeman, leaving the courthouse and jail Friday, embraced his brother, who was released in 2003.

He said, “The bitterness is over.”

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