Final Defendant Sentenced in Derrion Albert Case - NBC Chicago

Final Defendant Sentenced in Derrion Albert Case

The videotaped beating that prompted higher security in Chicago schools



    State's attorney Anita Alvarez discusses the case, and Albert's mother talks about her emotional wounds. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011)

    The mother of slain teenager Darion Albert said she doesn't find solace in the regrets of her child's convicted killer.

    "I don't believe him," said Anjanette Albert after the final defendant, Lapoleon Colbert was sentenced to 32 years in prison for participating in the beating death of the 16-year-old Fenger High School honor student. Colbert told the court he was sorry for his actions.

    "If he was sorry, he wouldn't have been out there in the first place," Albert said of Colbert's contrition.

    Colbert was convicted of first-degree murder earlier this year. That's the same charge four others were either convicted of or pleaded guilty to in the 2009 killing of 16-year-old Derrion Albert.

    Derrion Albert Laid to Rest

    [CHI] Derrion Albert Laid to Rest
    Hundreds of mourners say their final farewell to Derrion Albert, and promise to use his death as a rallying cry to bring the community to task for youth violence.
    (Published Monday, Oct. 5, 2009)


    Colbert addressed the court before sentencing, apologizing to the victim's family, asking for forgiveness, and asking the judge to "have mercy on me."

    He told the family he would take responsibility for his involvement in the beating, but would not accept responsibility for the murder.

    Teen Walked Into Melee Between Rival Gangs

    [CHI] Teen Walked Into Melee Between Rival Gangs
    Derrion Albert, 16, was punched and kicked all over his body, and the Cook County medical examiner's office says he died from blunt trauma.
    (Published Friday, Sept. 25, 2009)

    Colbert's attorney claimed his client was not part of the mob action and asked for the minimum 20 years, but Judge Nicholas Ford felt that that wasn't enough. He said Colbert was facing a test between right and wrong that day, and will get "32 years in prison for failing that test."

    Prosecutors claimed Colbert was an active part of the "mob action," claiming that the defendant kicked Albert in the head "like he was punting the ball."

    The victim's mother, Anjanette Albert, read a short statement in court asking Colbert why he murdered her son, and outside the courtroom, told reporters the wounds are still fresh.

    "I am never going to see him again," she said fighting back tears. "He should be going to prom."

    All of the others charged as adults were sentenced to at least a quarter century behind bars, with the one suspect tried as a juvenile ordered to remain locked up until he turns 21.

    The video of the beating was shown around the world. It prompted Chicago officials to beef up school security and persuaded President Barack Obama to dispatch top cabinet officials to his hometown to discuss ways to quell the violence.