Nevest Coleman Back at Work With Chicago White Sox After Spending 23 Years in Prison for Crime He Didn't Commit

Exonerated man back at work with White Sox
Nevest Coleman is now the newest member of the grounds crew at Chicago's Guaranteed Rate Field. Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law

A man who was exonerated after spending nearly a quarter century in prison for a rape and murder he did not commit is now back at work with the Chicago White Sox.

Nevest Coleman is now a grounds crew member at Chicago's Guaranteed Rate Field, a job he had held before his life was turned upside down in 1994.

"They didn't have to hire me back," Coleman told MLB.com. "I appreciate the White Sox giving me the opportunity to come back to work."

Back in 1994, Coleman was a respected member of that same crew at what was then known as Comiskey Park.

But that same year, Coleman was one of three men charged in the horrific death of Antwinica Bridgeman, whose body was found in the basement of an apartment building in the city's South Side.

Coleman had never been arrested before and insisted to his interrogators that he'd had nothing to do with Bridgeman's death.

However, Coleman's attorneys with The Innocence Project, say Chicago Police Department detectives told Coleman that if he answered questions the way they wanted, he could go free. 

After his attorneys say he signed a statement implicating himself and two others, Coleman was charged with first-degree murder and aggravated criminal sexual assault, as well as aggravated kidnapping.

One of the three accused would see his charges dismissed. While no forensic or physical evidence linked either Coleman or his co-defendant to the crime, both men were convicted.

The detectives denied allegations they physically abused Coleman and his co-defendant, and said that they voluntarily confessed to the crime.

Coleman would go on to spend 23 years in prison before DNA evidence led to his exoneration and that of his co-defendant.

On November 20, 2017, he was released from prison.

Among those who welcomed Coleman to his old stomping grounds this week were two of his old co-workers, who remain on staff at the ballpark and had testified to Coleman's good character for the defense all those years ago.

"It was amazing just to see, Jerry and Harry standing there to greet me when I came in. Just to see them outside waiting on me, it was a great feeling," Coleman said Monday. "To walk around on the field to see how the field is, everything is different in 23 years. It's totally different."

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