In Landmark Decision, Van Dyke Sentenced to Nearly 7 Years for Laquan McDoanld Shooting - NBC Chicago

High-profile trial for Chicago officer who shot Laquan McDonald

In Landmark Decision, Van Dyke Sentenced to Nearly 7 Years for Laquan McDoanld Shooting

As the hearing came to an end, special prosecutor Joseph McMahon said the case "from the beginning has been a tragedy"

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    Judge Reads Van Dyke's Sentence for Laquan McDonald Shooting

    Judge Vincent Gaughan sentences former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke to 6 years and 9 months in prison for the 2014 shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

    (Published Friday, Jan. 18, 2019)

    Jason Van Dyke — wearing a yellow prison jumpsuit, his hair disheveled and beard grown out — sat stoic as a judge sentenced the former Chicago police officer to nearly seven years in prison for the shooting death of black teen Laquan McDonald. 

    After eight hours of emotional testimony Friday, including from Van Dyke himself, Judge Vincent Gaughan sentenced Van Dyke to 81 months in prison, with two years mandatory before being considered for probation.

    "It is just so senseless that these acts occurred," Gaughan said. 

    Laquan McDonald's Great-Uncle Calls for Calm After Sentence

    [NATL CHI] Laquan McDonald's Great-Uncle Calls for Calm After Sentence

    Laquan McDonald's great-uncle Marvin Hunter calls for calm after the sentence handed down to former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke. 

    (Published Friday, Jan. 18, 2019)

    It was a sentencing hearing that captured the attention of the nation, putting an exclamation point on what has been a years-long saga for Chicago.

    Van Dyke, who was convicted of second-degree murder and aggravated battery in a trial last year, faced anywhere from probation to more than 96 years in prison as both sides spent hours arguing their positions Friday.

    In his final plea before his sentence, Van Dyke stood before Gaughan calling the shooting "the worst day of my life." 

    "No one wants to take someone's life, even in defense of their own," he said. 

    Gaughan, in his decision, ruled that the case fell under the "one act, one crime" doctrine, choosing to only sentence Van Dyke for second-degree murder and not the 16 counts of aggravated battery. 

    Van Dyke stared only at the judge as his fate was broadcast to the nation. Just moments after learning his fate, he was whisked out of the packed courtroom. 

    Special Prosecutor Joseph McMahon Speaks After Sentence

    [NATL CHI] Special Prosecutor Joseph McMahon Speaks After Sentence

    Special Prosecutor Joseph McMahon speaks after former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was sentenced on Friday. 

    (Published Friday, Jan. 18, 2019)

    His defense team had requested the judge only sentence Van Dyke for second-degree murder, seeking the minimum sentence of probation.

    The prosecution argued the "one crime, one act" doctrine would require the judge to sentence Van Dyke on the more serious criminal act, which they believed was aggravated battery. 

    Van Dyke was convicted on Oct. 5 of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery in the fatal shooting of 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.

    The Friday hearing saw witnesses who previously filed complaints against Van Dyke testifying that he allegedly made racist remarks to them and used excessive force.

    McDonald's great uncle took the stand to read a victim-impact statement to the judge.

    Jason Van Dyke to Be Sentenced Friday

    [CHI] Jason Van Dyke to Be Sentenced Friday

    Former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke was scheduled to be sentenced Friday, facing a number of possibilities more than three months after he was convicted in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. Sandra Torres reports.

    (Published Friday, Jan. 18, 2019)

    "I am unable to speak with my own voice .... because [Jason Van Dyke] decided to become judge, jury and the executioner," the statement read. 

    In Van Dyke's defense were fellow officers and family members, including his wife and daughter. 

    Seventeen-year-old Kaylee Van Dyke testified that she has been bullied and teased at school as her father's case took on national attention.

    Van Dyke Faces Several Possibilities at Sentencing Hearing

    Van Dyke Faces Several Possibilities at Sentencing Hearing

    Former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke is staring down a number of possibilities as he braces for a judge to sentence him Friday following his conviction in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. NBC 5’s Charlie Wojciechowski has the latest details.

    (Published Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019)

    "If I do sleep, it’s because I cry myself to sleep wondering why my dad was targeted," she said. "There is not a day that goes by that I am not proud of him. He does not deserve to sit behind bars for protecting the city of Chicago. Bring my dad home please." 

    His wife Tiffany Van Dyke begged the judge for mercy on her husband, saying her "life has been a nightmare."

    "My biggest fear is that somebody would kill him [in jail], for something that he did as a police officer," she said. "There was no malice, no hatred that night. It was simply a man doing his job."

    Van Dyke Appears in Court for Latest Hearing

    [CHI] Van Dyke Appears in Court for Latest Hearing

    Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke will not get a new trial and will be sentenced in two months, a judge ruled Friday. NBC 5's Charlie Wojciechowski has all the details. 

    (Published Friday, Dec. 14, 2018)

    Through tears, Tiffany Van Dyke said her husband "has paid the ultimate price. His life is over. Please, please. He has paid the price already. ... My heart and soul are broken."

    As the hearing came to an end, special prosecutor Joseph McMahon said the case "from the beginning has been a tragedy."

    "We know that no sentence will bring back Laquan McDonald or undo the hurt to his family and friends, just like no sentence will fix the concerns of the African-American community in this city, cities like Aurora, cities like Elgin and Rockford and across this country," he said.

    Watch Judge Give Jason Van Dyke Sentencing Date

    [CHI] Watch Judge Give Jason Van Dyke Sentencing Date

    Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke will be sentenced on Jan. 18, a judge said Friday. The sentencing date followed a ruling denying motions for a new trial and to set aside a jury's verdict in the case.

     

     

    (Published Friday, Dec. 14, 2018)

    Community activists, many of whom called for Van Dyke to be sentenced to 96 years, said they were "heartbroken" and "devastated" by the 81-month sentence.

    "We don't agree with the judge's ruling at all," said activist William Calloway, who had fought to get the video of McDonald's shooting released. "We feel that what Jason Van Dyke did when shooting Laquan 16 times, he deserves to spend the rest of his life behind bars."

    Still, McDonald's family called for calm in the city following the decision.

    Van Dyke Returns to Court for First Time Since Conviction

    [CHI] Van Dyke Returns to Court for First Time Since Conviction

    Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was slated to return to court Wednesday to potentially learn his sentencing date. Susan Carlson reports.

    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018)

    "I want to say to everyone, everyone in the city of Chicago and across this country, that if they had sentenced him to one minute, it is a victory," Hunter said. "It is a victory because what has happened in this courtroom today has never happened in the history of this country, and it sets a precedent and it sends a strong message to unjust police officers that now you can and will go to jail if you're caught lying, if you're caught breaking the law."

    Van Dyke's defense, calling the case "emotionally draining," said they are "happy with the sentence."

    "We certainly wanted probation," said attorney Dan Herbert. 

    Van Dyke Moved from Cook County Jail

    Van Dyke Moved from Cook County Jail

    Chicago police officer Van Dyke was transferred Tuesday morning to the Rock Island County Jail in far northwestern Illinois, one of 45 jail detainees who are being kept outside of Cook County. NBC 5's Chris Coffey reports.

     

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018)

    Herbert said Van Dyke "truly felt great" after learning his sentence.

    "It was the first time I've seen the guy, honestly since this whole ordeal started, where he was happy," Herbert said. "He's certainly not happy about jail; he's certainly not happy about missing his family. He's happy about the prospect of life ahead of him." 

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