Among the various stories shared in We TV’s ‘Love After Lockup: Innocent After Lockup,’ the journey of Ru-El Sailor is one that is sure to capture your interest. Having been accused of a crime he did not commit, Ru-El remained imprisoned for almost a decade and a half before he was able to prove his innocence. Despite the grim picture that his life paints of society, one cannot help but be intrigued by what he has been up to since his release from prison.
Who is Ru-El Sailor?
Ru-El Sailor’s brush with law can be traced back to a shooting that took place on November 17, 2002, in Cleveland, Ohio. On the fateful day, 31-year-old Omar Clark was shot by two men in a car while he was walking along with Clark Lamar Williams. The latter claimed that the shooters were actually after him for his payment dispute with Nichole Hubbard. A link was established to Cordell Hubbard, Nichole’s half-brother, and Williams also identified Cordell’s best friend, Ru-El, as the actual shooter.
Due to the testimony shared by Williams, Ru-El was indicted on March 26, 2003. He was then arrested on April 4, 2003, and was accused of murder, assault, and kidnapping. Ru-El’s trial began in May 2003 alongside the Hubbard siblings. While Ru-El claimed that he and Cordell were nowhere near the scene of the crime, the two were still convicted on June 5, 2003. However, before the sentence was announced, Cordel gave a statement in which he claimed that he and Ru-El were not together at the time that Clark was killed. Despite that, Ru-El was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Not giving up hope on justice, Ru-El submitted a request for a new trial in August 2003, with Cordell further stating that it was he who had fired the shots. During the hearing of the same, Cordell added that he was actually accompanied by William Sizemore during the incident, but the motion was denied, with Ohio’s Court of Appeals further upholding Ru-El’s conviction in 2004. However, Ru-El was far from done and filed another appeal in 2013, this time with the backing of Umar Clark, brother to Omar Clark. Unfortunately, the motion was dismissed without a hearing in 2014. The request submitted to the conviction integrity unit of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office was also rejected in 2016.
After much pressure from Ru-El’s legal team, the unit once again took up the case in January 2017. This led to both the prosecutors and the defending legal team filing a joint motion on March 28, 2018, highlighting that the existing charge against Ru-El should be dropped. However, the prosecutors did demand that the defendant agree that he had been complicit in perjury and obstruction of justice owing to his false statements in court. The plea deal sentenced Ru-El to ten years in prison, which was considered fulfilled since he had already been in jail for longer due to the false charges against him, leading to his immediate release.
Ru-El Sailor is Happily Married Today
Given how many years of his life Ru-El Sailor had to spend in prison for a crime he did not commit, he demanded reparations from the Cleveland police department and several of its officers by filing a civil rights lawsuit in March 2022. In November 2022, he was indeed found a victim of a wrongful conviction and was compensated $652,000 in March 2023. However, he has continued his bid to gain justice for the years he lost.
Still based in Cleveland, Ohio, Ru-El is happily married to Amy Catherine Spence. The couple celebrated their fourth anniversary on March 28, 2023, with Amy also being delighted about him being out of prison for five years. Ru-El is also a proud father of a beautiful little girl called MyEl Sailor, who was born on October 12, 2020. His older daughter, Chalaye, graduated from college in May 2021 and joined the Army. Additionally, the Ohio native has a granddaughter called Riley, who turned 6 in June 2020. As for his professional life, Ru-El owns his own clothing brand, which is named after his life mantra, Comma Club My Story Aint Over.