• KYW News 4:30-7am
    04:00 AM - 07:00 AM
By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A North Philadelphia man was set free on Thursday, after spending nearly five decades behind bars for a crime he committed while a teenager.

Haywood “Red Dog” Fennell is a new man.

He was just 17 when he participated in the 1968 robbery and stabbing that killed Joseph Hayes.

He wasn’t the killer, yet the act resulted in a mandatory life without parole sentence, until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that such sentences were illegal.

His was vacated, and now, Fennell is finally on parole.

“It’s been a long haul, but we finally made it,” he said.

At Graterford, Red Dog saved the life of a corrections officer during a riot, was the prison fix-it man, and a mentor.

Now in his mid-60s, he’s home living with family.

“I served time as well and I was in the same jail as my father,” said Haywood Carter, Fennell’s son.

Carter was two months when his dad went in; 26 when they served together.

“He taught me how to play pool, he taught me how to fight,” Carter said.

Now, Fennell will show the world the boy he was is no more.

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