32 Years For Last Derrion Albert Killer
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UPDATED 08/29/11 5:07 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — The last of five killers of Fenger High School honor student Derrion Albert was sentenced to 32 years in prison on Monday.
Lapoleon Colbert, 20, asked for leniency at his sentencing hearing on Monday, but Judge Nicholas Ford showed little, clearly angry as he handed down the 32-year sentence for the brutal beating that was captured on videotape and showed Colbert kicking Albert.
Ford called Colbert’s actions “inhumane,” saying the young man deserved the same sentence as two other defendants in the case.
Now, all but one of the five defendants will be spending at least the next quarter century in prison.
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One of the killers, Eric Carson, was sentenced to 26 years in prison after pleading guilty in January to his role in the Sept. 24, 2009, beating.
The defendant who got off easiest, who was 15 at the time he was sentenced in December of last year, will be in prison until he turns 21.
It’s been nearly two years since Derrion Albert was beaten to death outside of Fenger High School.
He was caught up in a fight between teens from two rival neighborhoods.
As CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports, Monday’s sentencing for Colbert marked the end of a legal saga for Derrion’s family.
Outside the courtroom, they showed their gratitude to prosecutors who helped convict the last of the five men who savagely beat the Fenger student to death in September 2009.
The trials might now be over, but his mother’s pain will never end.
“I still feel sick. I’m still sick. He’s not here. I’m never going to see him again. I can’t talk to him. He couldn’t graduate or go on prom. Everything has been taken away from me. My son should be in college right now,” Anjannette Albert said Monday.
Albert was attacked as he walked home from school past the Agape Community Center, at 342 W. 111th St. in the Roseland neighborhood, when he was caught in the middle of the fight.
Teens who lived in “The Ville” neighborhood around Fenger, 11220 S. Wallace St., were fighting with teens who were bused in from Altgeld Gardens near 130th Street.
Colbert was found guilty of murder in June. At trial, prosecutors contended he kicked and stomped Albert during the cell phone video-recorded beating.
Police said Colbert originally denied having any part in the murder when he was questioned, and later couldn’t find himself in the videotape. But the third time he was questioned, he admitted that he was on the tape kicking Albert in the head, stomping him, and finally jumping on his torso.
At Colbert’s sentencing hearing, Cook County prosecutors reminded the judge that Colbert stomped on Albert’s head as he lay on the ground.
Defense attorneys argued that Colbert had no criminal record.
Colbert himself made a short statement, saying to the family, “I’d like to apologize.”
But Derrion’s mother said “I don’t believe him.”
“I don’t believe anything he said,” Anjannette Albert said. “He’s not sorry. If he was sorry he wouldn’t have did that, he wouldn’t have been out there that day in that brawl.”
Derrion’s grandfather, Norman Golliday, said, “I couldn’t tell you whether he was making a plea for leniency in his apology, but it sounded sincere.”
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said she hopes the sentences that were handed down in the Derrion Albert case will send a message.
“The most important thing is, I hope that the kids are listening, because this is clearly an example of how you make a decision – a bad decision – and it was affect your life, for the rest of your life.”
Colbert’s defense attorney and his family left the court house without speaking to reporters.
During the sentencing, Colbert seemed very restless and as he was being led out of the courtroom, he turned to his father and waved.
He did not look at Derrion’s family during the hearing.