Philadelphia Man freed after doing 30+ years for murder he did not commit

A Philadelphia, PA man who spent more than thirty years in prison for a crime he did not commit was released on Friday.

A Court of Common Pleas judge vacated Eric Riddick’s conviction after attorneys argued that evidence had not been shared with the defense during the initial trial. Eric Riddick was sentenced to life in prison after being wrongfully convicted of the first-degree murder in the November 1991 shooting of 20-year-old William Catlett. Riddick was actually located two blocks away from the scene on the porch of a friend’s home. He was the only person charged in the crime. A witness told authorities four different versions of what he saw, naming Riddick as the shooter in one statement. By the time Riddick heard of the witness’s redactions of the statement, he had missed the deadline to file an appeal (Penn Live).

His attorneys tried again to file an appeal in 2016 after hiring an expert to examine the evidence. Over the years, Riddick’s case gathered national attention after rapper Meek Mill spoke about it while advocating for criminal justice system reforms. “Eric Riddick’s story always resonated with me because he was truly victimized by a broken criminal justice system for 30 years. I have an incredible amount of respect for the strength and poise that Eric demonstrated while dealing with this nightmare, and I’m thankful for everyone that played a role in helping him get released,” Mill said.

Riddick’s mother, Christine Riddick, has also been vocal about justice for her son. “Free at last! Thank God almighty, my son is free at last,” she said (ABC News). Eric’s wife of eight years whom he married while incarcerated also joined the family’s fight. “Doing the rallies, making the phone calls, being here, being there, and just supporting each other morally and mentally … whatever fight was needed, we did it,” Dana Riddick told ABC News. “I feel great, I feel great,” Riddick said as he left a Philadelphia courthouse as a free man (NBC News).


Leave a Reply