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Teen sentenced to no more than 5 years behind bars for murder of 27-year-old Chicago man

The family of Ryan Arliskas is frustrated with the justice system, after learning the young killer will serve no more than five years

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More than a dozen people stood in support Wednesday of 27-year-old Ryan Arliskas as they learned the teenager who admitted to killing him two years ago could serve no more than five years behind bars.

Wearing Ryan’s face on their t-shirts, the group said it is a reminder of a young life so senselessly stolen in April of 2022.

“He was 27, walking home from a friend’s house when three teens passed him on a sidewalk, shot him in the neck, and left him there to die,” said his mother, Molly Arliskas, who spoke following a juvenile court sentencing Wednesday.

The boy convicted in Arliskas' murder was 14 at the time of crime. He was charged with first-degree murder and pleaded guilty.

Now 16 years old, an attorney for the boy said he will be free before he turns 21.

“I am not OK with that. It doesn’t sit well with me. I think all of Chicago, my family behind me, is not OK with that either,” Molly Arliskas said.

“In a different county, this would have been a different story,” added Adam Arliskas, Ryan’s father. “He would have been tried as an adult if it wouldn’t have been in Cook County.”

The boy remains unnamed in court documents due to his age. The teen's lawyer said he is remorseful and had no real motive for ending Ryan’s life.

“We believe this was a group of young boys in an unfamiliar area that did something stupid and tragic and awful,” said David Drwencke, an attorney for the defendant. “There was nothing taken, no property or a vehicle, it was unfortunately someone being in the wrong place in the wrong time.”

Molly Arliskas and her army of supporters said they will keep fighting. Not only for Ryan, but for other crime victims in Chicago.

“My son deserved so much better and he would have done anything for his community,” Molly Arliskas said. “He walked in Black Lives Matter and gay parades. He did everything to improve it. He would have invited those kids up to show them how to play the drums.”

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