BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Bakersfield man who served more than 40 years in prison after a gas station robber turned deadly is a free man.
Cedric Struggs was serving a sentence of 25 years to life for his role in the July 16th, 1980 robbery of the Hudson Oil gas station. One of Struggs’ co-defendants pulled a gun and shot the gas station employee, Alfred Dishman, in the chest, killing him.
The law at the time stated defendants could be found guilty of murder if they committed a dangerous felony that resulted in the death of another person, even if they did not intend to kill the victim.
However, in 2019, the law changed and now requires a person to actually commit or aid in a killing in order to be charged with murder. A judge re-sentenced Struggs to four years for robbery and noted he has served far more time than that. The judge ordered Struggs to be released “as soon as possible.”
After four decades, Struggs has now reunited with his family.
“Oh, man. It was just too much. Seeing them and hugging them and kissing them, seeing my brothers, my sisters, cousins, my great grandkids,” Struggs said.
“I don’t think it really hit me until I went to church […] My brother was preaching and telling his story and he added me into the situation about ‘hey my brother been down 42 years’ and this and that and then I started crying, it hit me there and everyone was coming up and giving me hugs and different stuff … it was love man. It was love.”
Struggs said he has been making up for lost time by learning about new technology that’s come out since his arrest while also enjoying eating all the food he can and spending time with his mother, great-grandkids and other family relatives.