'White Boy' Rick Wershe Jr. denied clemency in Florida, release set for October 2020

EAST PALAKATA, Fla. – Richard Wershe Jr., known as "White Boy Rick," has been denied clemency by a Florida court.

Wershe Jr. has been behind bars in Florida since being granted parole by the Michigan Parole Board back in 2017. At the time of his parole, he owed 22 months to the state of Florida after credit for time served for a racketeering and conspiracy charge to move stolen cars in the state.

In a letter to Wershe Jr.'s attorney, dated March 27, the Executive Clemency Board said it has denied the request for commutation of sentence.

Before the clemency hearing in March, Wershe Jr. was scheduled to be released on Oct. 26, 2020, according to the Florida Department of Corrections. As of right now, that release date still stands. 

READ: The Story of White Boy Rick

Wershe was the longest-serving nonviolent juvenile offender in Michigan history. Arrested at 17 years old for drug offenses, he was locked up in Michigan until age 48. 

At the age of 14, Detroit police were paying Wershe to rat-out neighborhood drug dealers. When Wershe was 17, someone he snitched on got suspicious and had him shot. Detroit police abandoned him, so he started selling drugs for real, and in a year's time he was caught, convicted and nicknamed "White Boy Rick."

In 1988, Wershe was a juvenile convicted of possessing more than 650 grams of cocaine. His sentence was life in prison.

LISTEN: Local 4's podcast series on 'White Boy Rick'

Wershe, now 49 years old, is being housed at the Reception and Medical Center state prison in Lake Butler, Fla. after spending nearly three decades behind bars in Michigan as a nonviolent drug offender. He was released from the Oaks Correction Facility in Michigan in April 2017 and turned over to U.S. Marshals. He was booked in at the Florida prison in September 2017. 

RELATED: Richard Wershe says 'White Boy Rick' is dead, hopes for new life outside prison

About the Authors:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.