CHICAGO (Reuters) - Four young men will go on trial beginning next month over the 2009 videotaped beating death of a Chicago high school student that was viewed globally and led to promised reforms from official Washington.
Unlike the guilty verdict delivered on Wednesday for a 15-year-old boy tried as a juvenile for murdering Fenger High School student Derrion Albert, the first of four more defendants will be tried as adults, starting on January 7, a prosecutor’s office spokesman said on Thursday.
The convicted 15-year-old faces a likely sentence of a term in juvenile prison until he turns age 21 for throwing a punch to Albert’s jaw and sending him face-down into the pavement where he was beaten and kicked.
Albert joined a melee in the street between warring factions at the school, and the video showed him being struck in the back of the head by a wooden board, then punched, beaten, and jumped on.
A Cook County jury deliberated just half an hour before delivering the verdict, which prompted a wail from the defendant’s aunt and a modicum of satisfaction to Albert’s mother and grandfather.
“We still have four more (trials) to go,” Albert’s grandfather, Norman Golliday, told reporters.
The September 2009 videotaped beating went viral, triggering an outcry about inner-city violence.
It prompted President Barack Obama -- whose home is also on Chicago’s South Side -- to dispatch U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan for a news conference with Mayor Richard Daley. They promised grant money and called for more dialogue on juvenile crime.
The city’s former public housing head subsequently created a program to counsel and tutor students deemed most likely to become victims of violent crime.
Reporting by Andrew Stern; Editing by Jerry Norton