David Lee Windecher grew up poor in Miami in a community burdened by guns and drugs. Against the odds, Windecher rejected the world in which he was a self-described “gangster,” to become a lawyer and mentor for at-risk youth. Before renouncing gang life, Windecher was arrested 13 times. He is now using his story to inspire others that are attempting to make something of themselves when a life of crime, drugs, or violence is all they know. He wrote a book entitled The AmerIcan Dream: HisStory in the Making.
Windecher should serve as an inspiration for troubled offenders at any age. He is living proof that you can turn your life around if you put your mind to it. He joined the Georgia bar in 2012 and the Florida bar last year. He recently set up his own criminal defense practice. A portion of the proceeds of his book fund his nonprofit RED Inc. (Rehabilitation Enables Dreams). RED Inc. funds a GED program, together with a program run by the office of DeKalb County Solicitor Sherry Boston.
Windecher was reluctant to share his story at first. “I talk to my clients about my background, and a lot of times they get emotional. At first I was hesitant; being that transparent can make you vulnerable.” He and his siblings grew up in poverty. He was first arrested at the age of 11 for shoplifting. He chose to join a Hispanic gang after a beating by local black gang members. He needed money, so he formed a crime ring before he could even drive. His crime ring dealt drugs, stole cars, and robbed businessmen. As a teenager, his life consisted of gang activity and he was arrested repeatedly for various offenses including grand theft, battery, assault, and conspiracy.