CHICAGO (STMW) — Eugene Riley told detectives he was only trying to protect his younger brother when he swung a wooden board at Derrion Albert outside of Fenger High School.

“I had to protect my brother,” Riley, 20, said in his videotaped confession, which Cook County prosecutors presented at the opening of his murder trial Monday.

“I’m sorry about what happened. I didn’t want it to go this far.”

Albert’s vicious and notorious beating was captured by passersby with a camcorder as the fight between two groups of students erupted in the afternoon of Sept. 24, 2009.

Prosecutors said Riley hit 16-year-old Albert when he was already on the ground, defenseless.

But defense attorney Tim King said Albert, who is seen throwing a punch on the videotape, was the one looking for a fight.

Riley wasn’t a student at the South Side school, but he came to the school to pick up his brother and cousin Silvonus Shannon after classes.

When Riley was driving his brother — also injured in the melee — someone threw bricks at them, King said.

Riley only picked up a stick after he was hit, King said, arguing that Riley acted in self defense.

“He was only reacting to a hostile crowd that brought weapons,” King said.

Shannon, 20, was sentenced in April to 32 years in prison for Albert’s murder.

In December, a juvenile boy was found delinquent, or guilty, in Albert’s murder, and in March, Eric Carson, 18, was sentenced to 26 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to murder.

Another man, Lapoleon Colbert, is awaiting trial.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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