(STMW) — A Cook County judge Thursday handed down a 30-year sentence for a teenager convicted of murder in videotaped, fatal beating of a 62-year-old Mexican native collecting soda cans in a West Rogers Park alley last year.
Disabled while working construction in the 1990s in Chicago, Delfino Mora had been picking up soda cans in the alley in the 6300 block of North Artesian Avenue to supplement his small disability payments when he was attacked by three teens playing a game called “Pick ‘em out, knock ‘em out,” prosecutors allege.
The teens were caught and charged after the video of the attack ended up on Facebook, authorities said.
Anthony Malcolm gave his “sincere apologies” to Mora’s family, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
“I could feel your pain,” the teenager said looking at Mora’s family. “I’m truly sorry. . . . It was something I never wanted to happen.”
Judge Joseph Claps sentenced Malcolm to a 22-year sentence on murder charges and an additional eight years for robbery.
The trio’s actions on July 10, 2012, were “brutal and barbaric,” Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said. Most people would be disgusted watching the sound of Mora’s head crashing onto the pavement but the three teens just laughed.
“To them it was funny,” Murphy said.
Emmanuel Mora said the hardship of losing his father was a “nightmare” for him and his mother and 11 siblings.
“I felt lost throughout my pain,” the 21-year-old said.
Emmanuel Mora was the only one to testify on behalf of his family while defense attorneys called on over a half dozen of Malcolm’s relatives and friends to reminisce about memorable moments in Malcolm’s life, including his 8th grade graduation.
Malcolm, who will turn 20 on Monday, looked down when his grandfather Winston took the stand.
Winston Malcolm said his grandson wanted to join the military and was part of the ROTC program at Senn High School.
Stephanie Malcolm said her younger brother was a “father figure” for her and her sister’s children. The two would often talk about their future and Stephanie Malcolm said her brother always expressed his desire to be a police officer.
Sometimes, Anthony Malcolm would make his family breakfast, she said.
“Ultimately, he wanted to be an FBI agent,” said Malcolm’s aunt, Rosemary Rodriguez said of her nephew.
When a defense attorney asked Rodriguez — a retired Chicago Public Schools teacher — if there was anything in Malcolm’s past that would predict he’d be in trouble with the law, she broke down crying.
“No,” she said. “He was just a good kid.”
Anthony Malcolm’s ROTC instructor Lt. Col. Scott Johnson said the teenager was a very “reliable” cadet.
“He wanted to volunteer for everything and anything and he did,” Johnson said.
He was “a fine young man, dedicated to his family, dedicated to ROTC.”
Fabian Malcolm, 14, said his older brother once gave a homeless man money and called 911 for him when he noticed he was injured.
Later in the hour and a half hearing, Murphy — the prosecutor in the case — wondered why Anthony Malcolm didn’t call 911 when Mora lay unconscious.
Malcolm left Mora like the “garbage” the older man lay next to, Murphy said. Malcolm placed more value on the cans Mora collected than his life.
Defense attorneys had argued at Malcolm’s bench trial that Malcolm was not responsible for the actions of his friends.
All he did was hold up a cell phone, they said.
On Thursday, defense attorneys said Malcolm’s succumbed to “peer pressure” on that summer day.
“This is a case of an 18-year-old who didn’t understand by walking around with two gang bangers for just one night” there were risks involved, defense attorney Deborah Brown Lee argued.
Malcolm’s co-defendants, Nicholas Ayala and Malik Jones, are awaiting trial.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)