CINCINNATI, Ohio. (WWJ) – It may be White Boy Rick’s day in court.
The U.S. Court of Appeals was scheduled to hear oral arguments Thursday in the case of Richard Wershe, sentenced as a juvenile to life behind bars on cocaine charges.
The state parole board for the first time will have to explain why Wershe has been denied parole as the longest-serving non-violent juvenile in Michigan’s history. His last parole hearing was in 2004.
Wershe’s story made headlines around the world when he infiltrated local drug gangs at the tender age of 13 — at the request of Detroit police and FBI agents — and turned in evidence that convicted 14 dealers and gangsters, including some of the biggest drug dealers in Detroit history.
His longtime attorney claims that, as a direct result of Wershe’s help, the FBI was able to infiltrate a gang of Detroit cops that was transporting drugs from the Wayne County Airport to the streets of the city’s east side.
The then-baby-faced teen was sentenced to mandatory life prison under the state’s strict cocaine dealing laws, but the state constitution was later amended to lighten up sentences for nonviolent offenders.
This latest hearing, considered Wersche’s best chance to get out of prison, was scheduled to take place in Cincinnati’s 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Each side will be given 15 minutes to make its case.
© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.