CHICAGO (CBS) — The man convicted of driving the getaway car in the murder of 15-year-old honor student Hadiya Pendleton was sentenced to 42 years in prison on Tuesday.
Kenneth Williams as found guilty of first-degree murder back in August of 2018.READ MORE: Chaos In The Loop Leads To Shooting, Beatings; 21 Young People Arrested
He was sentenced to 35 years in prison for first-degree murder and another seven for aggravated battery, to be served consecutively.
Williams will get credit for 3,083 in custody.
After he finishes his prison term, he faces three years mandatory supervised release.
In court Tuesday, Pendleton’s mother, Cleopatra Cowley, pushed for the maximum sentence “to compensate for the life sentence we started serving on January 29, 2013.”
A jury convicted another man, Micheail Ward, of pulling the trigger and killing 15-year-old Hadiya, who was an honors student and a drum majorette at King College Prep High School. Ward was sentenced to 84 years.READ MORE: 9 Killed, At Least 23 Wounded In Weekend Shootings In Chicago
“She did not deserve what you did – you and Micheail did. We didn’t deserve it. We spend our days and weeks coping with the loss of so many opportunities – coupled with the loss of our whole lives and so much time, because of your selfishness,” Cowley said.
Williams said in court Tuesday that he often thinks about Hadiya’s mother himself.
“I felt like I was doing everything right. I was in school, I was working at O’Hare, and I was on my way to the Armed Forces. I just think to myself, like where did I go wrong?” he said. “In a sense of me thinking where did I go wrong, I think about you, Ms. Cowley, and think, how’s her day working out. That’s a void – an everyday void that you have to deal with.”
Hadiya and some classmates had gone to Vivian Gordon Harsh Park on the 4500 block of South Oakenwald Avenue on Jan. 29, 2013, and were taking cover from a rainstorm, when prosecutors said Ward opened fire.
Prosecutors said Ward thought he was shooting at rival gang members. Instead, he killed Hadiya.
The shooting happened a week after Hadiya had performed with her school band at President Barack Obama’s inauguration for his second term in Washington. Coincidentally, Hadiya had also appeared in a public service announcement about gang violence in late 2008.
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Ward was sentenced to 84 years in prison in January 2019.