After almost two years and four convictions, the fifth and final man charged with beating a Fenger High School sophomore to death will stand trial.
Derrion Albert was beaten to death in September 2009 in an altercation originally thought to be gang violence. It was later revealed that it stemmed from a disagreement between students who lived in Altgeld Gardens and another group who lived in an area known as the “Ville,” according to Asst. State’s Atty. Jodi Peterson. Albert was a bystander in the fight.
Napoleon Colbert, 19, is charged with being involved in the beating. Colbert’s image was captured on video footage of the brutal attack, said Sally Daly, a spokeswomen for the Cook County state’s attorney’s office. Three men and one teenager already have been convicted in the beating.
In January, a South Side teenager was sentenced to prison until the 15 year old turns 21. If the teenager breaks any rules while in jail, he could serve up to 30 years in prison as an adult.
Silvonus Shannon was the first adult tried in the case and was convicted of first-degree murder in January. A judge sentenced Shannon to 32 years in prison after his attorneys filed a motion for a retrial.
Robert Byman, Shannon’s lawyer said, “We’re disappointed. The judge should have been more lenient.”
Byman claimed that Shannon was a victim himself in the altercation, having been hit with a heavy piece of lumber.
Eric Carson, 17, also was tried as an adult in the case. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in January and was sentenced to 26 years in prison.
Earlier this month, Eugene Riley, 20, was found guilty after fewer than two hours of jury deliberations. Riley testified that his involvement in the altercation was in defense. He claims he was attempting to protect is brother.
Colbert is the last person to go on trial for the death of Albert.