Ex-con honored by man who put him in jail - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Ex-con honored by man who put him in jail

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DeWayne Wilkerson has turned from felon to filmmaker and he's using his life of crime as an opportunity to teach young people.

Saturday night he was celebrating the release of his movie "The Greatest Gift 2.0." Among those attending, was the man who put him in jail.

In 1996, Wilkerson was a hip-hop promoter who also dealt drugs. Narcotics agents nabbed him during a sting operation and he was sentenced to 15 years. Two years later he tried to escape and was slapped with at 19 to 135 year sentence.

Wilkerson says that sentence got his attention. "So, a great reality check. And that's why my message to the kids is to stay away from the streets. If I can turn my life around, they can too."

Wilkerson didn't have to serve that full sentence. After an early release in 2009, he made it his life's mission to make a difference. He turned to filmmaking. Saturday, he celebrated the official launch of his DVD "The Greatest Gift 2.0." The 70-minute drama is aimed at helping struggling kids make positive choices.

Wilkerson says, "It's part of a youth motivational they have been touring around the state. We are just so happy brining it home to launch it out into the world."

Monroe, Michigan Mayor Robert Clark was the task force commander of the narcotics sting that put Wilkerson behind bars. Saturday, he showed up to show his support for Wilkerson's work.

"He has a great message and it shows that no matter what may have happened in your past, there's always opportunity for the future." Clark said.

Wilkerson's story and film are gaining national attention and he plans on continuing his motivational tour across the U.S.

 

 

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