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Cuyahoga County judge to declare Ru-El Sailor wrongfully imprisoned

Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Sherrie Miday will declare Ru-El Sailor wrongfully imprisoned on Monday.

CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.

Four years after his murder conviction was vacated, a Cuyahoga County judge will officially declare that Ru-El Sailor was wrongfully imprisoned.

The declaration, which will be made by Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Sherrie Miday at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, will grant Sailor the right to pursue compensation from the State of Ohio for the years he spent in prison as an innocent man. Sailor spent 15 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of the 2002 shooting death of Omar Clark on Cleveland's Englewood Ave.

“Ruel Sailor is a survivor of extreme injustice. He was robbed of the things we all hold dear, including the chance to build his life as he wanted and the fundamental right to be a free man in the world. Since his release, Ruel has dedicated his life to his family and giving back to his community. Today marks a turning point in his life,” said Sarah Gelsomino, partner at Friedman Gilbert + Gerhardstein, the law firm representing Ru-El.

The conviction of Sailor, who had maintained his innocence, had been the source of controversy for years. In 2017, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley directed his office's Conviction Integrity Unit to further look into the case, which following a 15-month investigation resulted in the dismissal of the murder, kidnapping, assault, and weapons charges that Sailor was originally found guilty of.

In exchange, Sailor agreed to plead guilty to one count each of perjury and obstruction of justice.  While he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for those charges, he received credit for having already served 15 years of his original 28-years-to-life sentence served was instead placed on probation for three years.

Two other people, brother and sister Cordell and Nicole Hubbard, also received maximum sentences of life in prison for their roles in Clark's murder. Sailor's amended charges stem from his lying on the stand about Cordell's involvement, which he now admits he knew about.

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