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Van Dyke Returns to Court for First Time Since Conviction

Note: Live coverage of Van Dyke’s court appearance will be streamed above beginning at 9 a.m. CST. 

Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was slated to return to court Wednesday to potentially learn his sentencing date. 

Van Dyke was convicted on Oct. 5 of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery in the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald.

Second-degree murder carries a four- to 20-year prison sentence, but can also result in four years of probation instead of prison. Aggravated battery carries a six- to 30-year sentence, 85 percent of which must be served.

The long-awaited verdict came almost exactly four years after Van Dyke shot 17-year-old McDonald 16 times on the city’s Southwest Side.

Dashcam video showing the shooting shook the city and the nation, sparking massive protests and calls for justice.

Van Dyke’s attorneys have maintained the Chicago officer was wrongly charged, saying he was acting within the law when he shot the teen, who at the time was an armed felon fleeing a crime scene.

They have vowed to continue fighting the decision with an appeal. 

Earlier this month, Van Dyke was transferred to the Rock Island County Jail in far northwestern Illinois, one of 45 jail detainees who are being kept outside of Cook County.

The move was for security reasons, not due to any health concerns, a spokesman for the Cook County sheriff’s office said, adding that Van Dyke was a high-profile case for whom more security was deemed appropriate. 

He was expected to be in court for his first appearance post-conviction beginning at 9 a.m.

Published in: Local News

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