DETROIT – He's had 29 years to think about it, and now "White Boy" Rick Wershe is talking about what he would do with his life if a parole board freed him from prison after an important meeting on Tuesday.
Wershe recently got a phone call from movie star Matthew McConaughey, who offeredWershe help getting on his feet once he gets out of prison.
Scott Silver, the writer of the movie "8 Mile," has offered Wershe a job.
Wershe said the offers are flattering, but when he gets out of prison, he said, he wants to spend time with his family doing normal things.
For the first time in 29 years, Wershe can see himself as a free man. He said he has a lot of catching up to do.
"The first thing I want to do is visit my grandparents' grave," Wershe said. "I'd like to see them and see my kids and grandkids, check on my mom and try and get back to whatever normal life I can and make it as normal as I can."
Wershe met with the chairman of the parole board Tuesday to make his case for being released, assuring the state he has a place to live and a job waiting for him. His attorney, Ralph Musilli, was at his side for support.
"Apparently, he has a good support system on the outside," Musilli said. "He's got job offers, offers of housing, so that's not going to be a problem."
Wershe told the parole board he understands how deadly drugs are and apologized for his crimes. From behind bars, Wershe helps raise money to feed the poor people in his old neighborhood on Detroit's east side and works with an organization that helps educate at-risk teens about the dangers of drugs and gangs and the importance of education.
"I will continue to work with them when I'm released and I will continue to do the fundraisers for my church and my community," Wershe said.
He said if he's released, he'll lead a simple and honest life and make up for lost time with his family.
"Kevin, the thing, as a friend, that I haven't even told you, is that I want to do something else where people don't remember 'White Boy' Rick for being a drug dealer," Wershe told Local 4 Defender Kevin Dietz. "I want to do something bigger and better."
Wershe has always hated the name "White Boy" Rick. He thinks it's part of the reason he has been locked up so long. But he realizes the movie and a new book about his life are both probably going to be called, "White Boy Rick," so he hopes to turn the nickname into something good that helps the community.
Now Wershe will wait to find out if he earned parole from Tuesday's interview, which he said went well.