DETROIT (WJBK) - Imprisoned drug dealer Rick Wershe will be in front of a public parole board on Thursday, June 8 for a chance at freedom for the first time since 1988.
The public parole hearing is set to start at 9 a.m. in Jackson after a Michigan Parole Board voted 6 to 10 in favor of Wershe getting a parole hearing. Wershe will appear in court in front of a judge as his parole request is heard.
'White Boy Rick' Wershe was arrested for possessing 8 kilograms of cocaine in 1988 when he was 17 years old. He was sentenced to life without parole. But the law changed - converting all life without parole sentences to life with parole, meaning now, he doesn't get an automatic resentence.
In prison, Wershe cooperated with the FBI to help break up drug rings and solve other crimes. Yet each time Wershe has come up for parole, it's been denied.
He's serving a life sentence with occasional opportunities for parole. The parole board so far has declined to release him.
In February, Wershe met with with the chairman of the Michigan parole board as part of his latest bid for release. Wershe has been in prison for 29 years for possession with intent to deliver more than 650 grams of cocaine.
Wershe has spent almost 30 years behind bars. Last September, he got a glimpse at the possibility of freedom when Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Dana Hathaway rejected arguments that Rick should be left to rot.
He was supposed to have been resentenced for the crime later that month. However, just a few weeks later, a federal appeals court ruled that he would not be resentenced. An appeals court overturned her decision due to a 'procedural issue'.
The appeals judge told Wershe that he had already been resentenced because he was originally sentenced to life without parole and it was then changed to life with parole.