A Michigan man who was on a bad road has turned his life around thanks to a judge who gave him a chance and issued him a challenge.

Get our free mobile app

A rough start for Ed Martell

At the age of 27, Edward Martell was busted for selling drugs in his hometown of Inkster.

"I fell victim to my environment, I guess I could say, and then it became a trend," he said. "I started hanging around with the wrong crowd, I got intertwined with the drug culture."

That was 16 years ago. Martell's life began to turn around when he appeared before Judge Bruce Morrow.

"He challenged me, and he said 'Mr. Martell, I dare you to be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, instead of out here selling drugs,'" Martell tells Detroit's WJBK-TV in the video below.

Instead of throwing away the opportunity, Martell accepted the challenge and went back to school. Eventually, he graduated from Wayne Community college and earned a full-ride scholarship to law school at the University of Detroit-Mercy.

Ed Martell today

Earlier this month, Martell was sworn in by the same judge who issued the challenge.

"He's like so many of the other people that come in front of us," Judge Morrow said. "They are talented, they're brilliant, they have abilities and skills that, if you were not looking to make people's lives better and connect with them, you were only going to see the person and the offense that they're charged with."

Today, Martell is settling into his new job as a lawyer with the Perkins Law Group in downtown Detroit.

UP NEXT: Michigan Signs of the Zodiac

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.