After just thirty minutes of deliberation, an Illinois jury convicted a fifteen year old boy last week of first-degree murder for his role in the violent death of Derrion Albert, a sixteen-year-old Chicago high schooler whose beating death last year was caught on camera.
The boy was tried as a minor and faces prison until he turns 21. The boy’s attorney Richard Kloak, said he could be locked up in state prison for up to 60 years if he commits even a misdemeanor before he’s an adult. The teen was 14 years old when he was caught on a cell phone video on September of 2009 as one of many attackers who descended on Albert, pummeling him with fists and kicks, even long boards of wood. The video recorded the teen punching Albert in the face after he’d just gotten up from a previous blow.
A pathologist testified during the two-day trial that Albert’s injuries were so many that it was impossible to know which was the one that killed him, but that the boy’s punch definitely contributed to his death. Kloak called no witnesses.
According to the AP, the jury was only allowed to consider first-degree murder or acquittal. Kloak says he was certain that if the jury were allowed to consider a lesser crime, the conviction would not have been so harsh.
Four other teens have been charged with Albert’s murder. The next trial, for a boy who was recorded stomping on Albert’s head with both feet, is set to begin on January 7. The convicted teen is set to be sentenced on January 18.