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Wiley Bridgeman, Cleveland man wrongfully imprisoned for nearly 4 decades, dies at 66

Attorneys for Bridgeman confirmed to 3News that the man died on Sunday, June 27.

SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio — Attorneys for Wiley Bridgeman, the Cleveland man wrongfully imprisoned for nearly four decades, confirmed on Monday to 3News that Bridgeman died over the weekend. 

"It is with great sadness that the family of Wiley Bridgeman and the law firm of Friedman, Gilbert, + Gerhardstein announce the passing of Wiley on June 27, 2021, after a long illness," said a representative for Friedman, Gilbert + Gerhardstein, the lawfirm that worked with Bridgeman. 

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Bridgeman spent more than 38 years in prison for a 1975 homicide before being declared wrongfully imprisoned in 2014, along with his brother Kwame Ajamu, and friend, Rickie Jackson. 

According to his attorneys, before his conviction and death sentence at the age of 2020, Wiley was a member of the National Guard with aspirations to go to law school. 

During his incarceration, Bridgeman turned to writing and poetry, a passion that led to a published poetry book. 

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"His years of incarceration were difficult, compounded by mental health issues," Bridgeman's attorneys say. "Despite his struggles, he found his calling as a writer and poet, eventually publishing a book of poetry titled, “It’s A Something I Missed to Tell You.” After his release, he found some peace at his rural home in Richfield, Ohio, surrounded by nature while enjoying time with his family."

Bridgeman is survived by his brother Kwame. 

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