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As He Heads Back To Prison, A Nashville Man Says ‘Goodbye’ To The New Life He Hoped To Build | Nashville Public Radio

As He Heads Back To Prison, A Nashville Man Says ‘Goodbye’ To The New Life He Hoped To Build | Nashville Public Radio When a Nashville man named Matthew Charles was released from prison early in 2016 after a sentence reduction, he’d spent almost half his life behind bars. But in a rare move, a federal court ruled his term was reduced in error and ordered him back behind bars to finish his sentence.

Matthew Charles, Criminal Justice Reform, Early Prison Release, African American News, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN, KINDR'D Magazine, KINDR'D



It’s 4 o’clock on a Saturday in late April, and over a dozen people have gathered for a surprise party in honor of Matthew Charles at his girlfriend Naomi Tharpe’s home.

Charles is a little late, which is good, because guests are still making their way in through a side door when a friend who’s been entertaining him sends Tharpe a text announcing their arrival.

The guests — an assorted bunch including members of his church congregation, coworkers, volunteers from a local food pantry and even a former cellmate — are bursting with laughter. Tharpe has just passed out tiny, colorful water guns so they can spray Charles.

A hush passes over the crowd as they spot him approaching through the narrow slats of the tall wooden gate.

As the door swings open, Charles is greeted by a loud “surprise!”

Some shoot the water guns, at him, then at each other. Everyone’s whooping and clapping.

See Also
Jacklean Davis, NOLA Police Department, NOLA Distict Attorney, Police Department, Criminal Justice Reform, Criminal Justice, Police Brutality, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN, KINDR'D Magazine, KINDR'D, Willoughby Avenue, Wriit,

Charles stands quietly for a moment. Finally, he says, “alright.”

Charles is a man of few words. But his eyes are filled with tears.


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