The white former Chicago police officer who shot and killed Laquan McDonald in 2014 has been sentenced to 81 months in prison.
Judge Vincent Gaughan issued the sentence on Friday for Jason Van Dyke. Van Dyke was found guilty in October of 2018 of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery, one for each shot he fired that struck the teen. The murder charge itself carries a prison term of four to 20 years but the judge could have given Van Dyke probation for that count. The aggravated battery charges carry a sentence of six to 30 years in jail and does not allow for probation.
Van Dyke’s defense attorney argued that Van Dyke be sentenced to probation on the second-degree murder conviction while prosecutors argued that he should also be sentenced on the aggravated battery counts. The minimum for those convictions can be as high as 96 years but prosecutors asked the judge for 18 to 20 years.
Instead, Judge Gaughan agreed to sentence Van Dyke solely on the second-degree murder charge, calling the case, “A tragedy for both sides.”
Van Dyke could be released after serving a minimum of two years and serve the remainder of his term on probation.