Updated 03/24/11 – 4:45 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — One of the young men convicted in the beating death of Fenger High School honor student Derrion Albert was sentenced to 32 years in prison on Thursday.
Silvonus Shannon, 20, faced between 20 and 60 years in prison for his first-degree murder conviction in the 2009 beating death of Derrion Albert, which was captured on cell phone video and seen around the world.
Cook County Judge Nicholas Ford sentenced Shannon to 32 years in prison Thursday afternoon.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s John Cody reports, Shannon offered an apology to Derrion’s family and asked their forgiveness. But Derrion’s mother, Anjanette Albert, said there was no way she could forgive him.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s John Cody reports
Ford said he gave Shannon a longer sentence because Albert was defenseless on the ground when Shannon hit and kicked him.
Shannon’s attorneys are using Ford’s failure to disclose that fact in their request for a new trial.
One of the jurors, Larry Feit, expressed doubts about the evidence. He said he was a holdout at first and had struggled to find Shannon guilty.
Derrion was an honor student at Fenger, 10220 S. Wallace St. On Sept. 24, 2009, he was walking home past the Agape Community Center, 342 W. 111th St., when he was caught in the middle of a fight between Fenger students who lived in “The Ville” neighborhood near the school, and students who lived more than four miles south in the Altgeld Gardens public housing development.
A mob swarmed around Derrion as he was trying to get home from school. Shannon was one of five arrested and charged in the killing which, was caught on a cell phone camera and went viral around the world.
Prosecutors said the tape captured Shannon kicking Derrion while he was on the ground, then jumping on his head.
Shannon’s defense argued that the video doesn’t show him actually striking Derrion.
Defense attorneys claimed Shannon himself was a victim of the brawl and that Derrion threw a punch at him before someone else knocked Derrion to the ground. They also claimed said Shannon was struck in the head during the melee and was dazed and didn’t know what he was doing.
Shannon was convicted by a jury on Jan. 11. He could face up to 60 years in prison.
Two others — Eugene Riley and Lapoleon Colbert — are awaiting trial in Albert’s death.