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A Cook County judge on Tuesday, July 20, sentenced the getaway driver who sped 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton’s killer away from the South Side park where she was gunned down to 42 years in prison.

Kenneth Williams, 28, was convicted of Pendleton’s murder in 2018, but his sentencing was delayed for almost three years, according to Chicago Sun Times.

Judge Diana Kenworthy told Williams that he would serve 35 years in prison for Pendleton’s murder, and an additional seven years for aggravated assault charges in the shooting that wounded two other teenagers.

“Williams was not taken by surprise,” Kenworthy said of testimony at Williams’ trial that the pair was hunting for members of a rival gang faction. “They were looking for people to shoot.”

Pendleton was with a group of teenagers celebrating the end of finals on January 20, 2013, in Harish Park when gunman Micheail Ward opened fire, Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Holmes said at the sentencing hearing.

According to Chicago Sun Times, Pendleton was shot in the back less than a mile from President Barack Obama’s Kenwood home at the time. Pendleton had performed at Obama’s inauguration less than two weeks earlier.

Ward was convicted and sentenced in 2019 to 84 years in prison for Pendleton’s murder.

According to WWTW News, Ward and Williams were arrested in February 2013. Ward confessed to police during a recorded interrogation that was later shown to jurors.


Kenneth Williams

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