(WXYZ) — He’s being remembered as a crusader for justice who dedicated more than 50 years of his life to the law. St. Clair Shores Attorney Ralph Musilli is being honored, after passing away unexpectedly this week.
Ralph is credited with securing the release of Rick Wershe Jr., also known as “White Boy Rick” after more than 32 years in prison for a non-violent drug crime.
Rick tells us he is convinced he would have been denied justice for good, if not for Ralph whom he met at the age of 14.
“He told me he would get me out and he did. He always refused to take money and told me to keep it for when I needed it. I’m going to do good things to honor him, for giving me my life back” says Wershe Jr.
Over decades, Ralph fought for Rick and others wronged by the system and did not charge them for representation.
He also exposed flaws in the legal system.
Rick recalls the 77-year-old being a mentor and father figure to him.
“He would answer every single letter and phone call from inmates over the years, and take the cases others wouldn’t,” says Wershe Jr.
Ralph won the federal appeal for Wershe Jr. in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals back in 2016, prior to Rick being paroled. He was loved by family and friends and held in high esteem by many members of law enforcement. He is survived by his 5 children and wife of more than 20 years.