Benton Harbor man gets life without parole for 2021 murder
ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (WNDU) - A Benton Harbor man will spend the rest of his life behind bars after he was found guilty of fatally shooting another man back in 2021.
According to our reporting partners at The Herald-Palladium, Ricky Bridgeman, 37, was sentenced on Monday to life in prison without parole for shooting and killing Darquinn James, 33, on Nov. 22, 2021. A conviction of first-degree murder for an adult in Michigan carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no chance for parole.
Bridgeman was found guilty back in June of first-degree murder and several lesser charges, including possession of a firearm by a felon, tampering with an electronic monitoring device, and three counts of felony firearms. He was charged and sentenced as a four-time habitual offender.
The killing happened on Highland Avenue in Benton Harbor at the home of Betty Washington, who said James was her on-again, off-again boyfriend. Bridgeman admitted he fled the house after shots were fired, ran to his own house across the street, cut off a jail tether, then fled the state, eluding police for about 10 months.
Bridgeman told the jury he was on parole at the time and cut off his tether because he feared a parole violation and did not want to go back to prison. He fled to Ohio then North Carolina, where he was later arrested.
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