It’s been eight year’s since her shooting in a Chicago park horrified the city.
The man who pulled the trigger is already behind bars for a long time.
It brings the case to an end but the nightmare will never end for her family.
“Kenneth Williams is equally responsible for the physical death of our daughter, the death of her dreams and the generational death of her children and grandchildren,” said Cleopatra Cowley, Pendleton’s mother.
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In her victim impact statement, Cowley said her family is still trying to rebuild their life. Cowley could occasionally be seen in court looking at Williams. He could not be seen because Williams refused to be photographed in his prison jumpsuit.
“We spend our days and weeks coping with the loss of so many opportunities coupled with the loss of our old lives,” said Cowley.
Williams was convicted for waiting in the getaway car when Mickiael Ward fired shots at Pendleton and her friends who were hanging out in Harsh Park. mistaking them for rival gang members.
Ward was sentenced to 84 years in prison back in 2019.
Williams addressed the Pendleton family for the first time Tuesday. He expressed sympathy for their grief, but maintained his innocence.
“Just deep sadness hurt and pain in your voice directed to me, feel like, like a lot has been put on me as far as these circumstances,” said Williams.
Pendleton was shot and killed in a South Side park in January of 2013, just weeks after she performed as a majorette in former President Barack Obama’s inauguration parade.
Kenneth Williams, the getaway driver, will be sentenced Tuesday. He appealed for a new trial, but was denied.
Pendleton’s death made national headlines. Former First Lady Michelle Obama attended her funeral.
RELATED: Kenneth Williams found guilty in Hadiya Pendleton murder trial; Ward trial continues
Police said the two involved in the shooting are gang members, who drove by the park and opened fire into a crowd of King College Prep High School students.
Williams had faced up to 90 years in jail. Pendleton’s parents said they’re satisfied with the judge’s ruling.
“Everything he had to say to me just really kind of went on deaf ears, just go go do your time and we’re going to do ours,” said Nate Pendleton, Hadiya’s father.
Williams represented himself in the sentencing hearing. He can appeal the decision but it’s not known yet if he will do so.
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