Jason Van Dyke Returns to Court for First Time Since Conviction

Earlier this month, the ex-Chicago police officer was convicted of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery in the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald

Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke returned to court Wednesday with his fate still unclear. 

Van Dyke walked into the courtroom with two deputies at his side, wearing a yellow prison jumpsuit, his hands held behind his back - a scene far different from the suit-wearing man many had seen on camera throughout his highly publicized trial. 

Van Dyke's defense filed two new motions Wednesday - one requesting a new trial and the other asking that the judge set aside the jury's verdict in his case. 

The ex-Chicago police officer was convicted on Oct. 5 of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery in the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald

The long-awaited verdict came almost exactly four years after Van Dyke shot 17-year-old McDonald 16 times on the city's Southwest Side.

Dashcam video showing the shooting shook the city and the nation, sparking massive protests and calls for justice.

Van Dyke's attorneys have maintained the Chicago officer was wrongly charged, saying he was acting within the law when he shot the teen, who at the time was an armed felon fleeing a crime scene.

They have vowed to continue fighting the decision.

Earlier this month, Van Dyke was transferred to the Rock Island County Jail in far northwestern Illinois, one of 45 jail detainees who are being kept outside of Cook County.

The move was for security reasons, not due to any health concerns, a spokesman for the Cook County sheriff's office said, adding that Van Dyke was a high-profile case for whom more security was deemed appropriate. 

It remains unclear when exactly Van Dyke will learn his sentencing. Second-degree murder carries a four- to 20-year prison sentence, but can also result in four years of probation instead of prison. Aggravated battery carries a six- to 30-year sentence, 85 percent of which must be served.

The next court date is set for Dec. 14. 

Contact Us