DETROIT – When Rick Wershe appeared in court in September, he was hoping to be released after spending 28 years in prison for a nonviolent drug offense. At the time, there was an intimidating ex-convict sitting in the courtroom.
"They released me, and if you know who I am, you know what I did," Nate Boone Craft said.
Craft, one of Detroit's most notorious hit men in the 1980s -- he contracted for more than 30 killings -- told Local 4 Defender Kevin Dietz he turned down a proposal that he kill Wershe, known as White Boy Rick, when Wershe was busted as a teenage drug dealer.
"They tried to hire me back then to do something to the boy," Craft said. "I was tempted to, but I backed off because everybody was around."
Craft cooperated with police from behind bars and was given parole. He showed up in court to support Wershe's release, saying if he could get out, certainly Wershe should. He insisted the kid was no drug kingpin then and is no danger to society now.
"I'm out and he is still in," Craft said. "A whole lot of us are out. Why is he still in there (for) a nonviolent crime?"
Craft is telling his story as part of a blockbuster documentary called "650 Lifer: The Legend of White Boy Rick." In the documentary, Craft tells producer Shawn Rech it was a cop who wanted to hire him to kill Wershe.
"They wanted us to make sure we killed White Boy Rick, but we got to make sure it don't lead back to no one," Craft says at one point in the documentary.