CHICAGO -- A Cook County judge on Thursday sentenced a Chicago man to 32 years in prison for the murder of Derrion Albert, a Fenger High School sophomore whose videotaped beating was shown around the world and came to symbolize youth violence in Chicago.
Judge Nicholas Ford denied defense pleas for a minimal sentence for Silvonus Shannon, who was convicted by a jury of first-degree murder in January.
Shannon, 20, hung his head at the ruling while his family wept quietly in the courtroom.
The September 2009 melee broke out between students who live in the area around Fenger -- known as 'The Ville" -- and students from the Altgeld Gardens public housing complex.
The trial centered on the grainy, shaky video that showed Albert being slammed over the head with boards, punched in the face and kicked and stomped. Shannon could be seen kicking toward Albert's head twice while he lay defenseless on the street. In the video's last seconds, Shannon leaped into the air and stomped with both feet at Albert's head, prosecutors said.
Shannon testified at trial that Albert, 16, was part of a gang of students from the Ville who were intent on brawling with those from Altgeld Gardens and that Albert had thrown a punch at him moments before the video started to roll. He also said he did not think any of his blows landed on Albert.
One of Shannon's co-defendants, Eric Carson, pleaded guilty to murder in January and was sentenced to 26 years in prison. A third defendant, who was 14 at the time of the melee, was convicted of murder as a juvenile and sentenced to a juvenile detention center until his 21st birthday.
Two others, Eugene Riley and Lapoleon Colbert, still await trial as adults on murder charges.
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