A judge ruled Friday that two brothers wrongly convicted for a 1975 slaying they didn’t commit will receive $1.6 million in an initial payment for the decades they spent in Ohio prisons.
Judge Patrick McGrath of the Ohio Court of Claims said that Wiley Bridgeman – 60 – will get a check for $969,093, and his brother, Kwame Ajamu, 57, will be given $647,578. Ajamu previously changed his name from Ronnie Bridgeman.
“I’m very glad this is headed toward the end of the process,” Ajamu told The Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper. “But this was never about financial gain. It was about getting my brother out and getting Ricky Jackson out.”
Bridgeman was released Nov. 21, more than 39 years after he had been locked up. Ajamu was released from prison in 2003. Bridgemand and Ajamu, along with friend Ricky Jackson, were all convicted of murdering a man near University Circle in Cleveland in 1975.