Inmate who helps authorities asks for freedom


IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — A Michigan prison inmate who has fought crime from behind bars is asking the governor to commute his 50- to 200-year sentence for armed robbery.

James Hicks had a hearing in front of a Michigan Parole Board member at the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia Tuesday. He detailed a life of crime in his youth and said he is proud of the man he's become while serving his sentence the last 32 years.

During that time, Hicks has helped law enforcement build criminal cases for murder, fraud and corruption. He's also helped put crooked prison officials behind bars. It has gained him the backing of powerful law enforcement people, including the former head of the Detroit FBI office and even the Muskegon County prosecutor who put him behind bars.

His work with law enforcement has also made him a target. He's been beaten, poisoned and stabbed. He said he spends 23 hours a day in a cell by himself for his safety.

He told the parole board member that he has "come a long way from living that (criminal) lifestyle" and is trying "to live my life in a more decent and respectable way."

Full story: WOOD TV


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