White Sox Rehire Groundskeeper who Served 23 Years on Wrongful Conviction

Nevest Coleman returns to the White Sox grounds crew after 23 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. CBS CHICAGO

After spending 23 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, Nevest Coleman is back at work with the Chicago White Sox.

According to Gregory Pratt of the Chicago Tribune, Coleman spent 23 years behind bars until DNA evidence exonerated him in November. In fact, fellow groundskeeper Jerry Powe would weigh in. They testified to his good character during his 1997 trial for first-degree murder and aggravated criminal sexual assault, and the pair were waiting for Coleman - with hugs - when he arrived at Chicago's Guaranteed Rate Field. "We're glad to have him back". "I'm so happy for him, me and the White Sox".

"I'd wake up in the morning proud to go to work", Coleman said. "I nearly cried when I saw him because I hadn't seen him in a long time". To walk around on the field to see how the field is.

Coleman was a 25-year-old father of two who had worked at the ballfield ― then named Comiskey Park ― for two years when he was wrongfully arrested, along with co-defendant Darryl Fulton, for the April 1994 rape and murder of a young woman named Antwinica Bridgeman, according to his attorney. In February, Coleman's name was officially cleared and he was granted a certificate of innocence.

Both men's charges were dropped late previous year after a DNA test on bodily fluids recovered from Bridgeman's clothing and body yielded a match with a serial rapist, according to a release from Coleman's attorney.

"I was in a situation where I felt comfortable here and everybody here was family to me", he told WGN.

"His first wish, before he wished for a hamburger, was to work for the White Sox", cousin Richard Coleman said after Coleman was released. "It has been a long time, but we're thrilled that we have the opportunity to welcome him back to the White Sox family", the statement read.

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