by P. J. McNeal, The Chicago Times
July 20, 2021
CHICAGO – Kenneth Williams, the getaway driver in the 2013 murder of Hadiya Pendleton was sentenced to 42 years in prison on Tuesday.
Following emotional impact statements from Hadiya’s family, a judge handed down the lengthy sentence. Yet we all know it should have been a life sentence.
Prosecutors were seeking a 90-year sentence for Williams’ role in Hadiya’s death. Williams continued to maintain his innocence in court prior to his sentencing. Williams, who represented himself, claims he was not properly defended and that his presence in court makes no sense.
Williams also demanded that he felt he deserved to be treated better by Pendleton’s family after they testified against his defense.
Hadiya’s brother pushed for the harshest sentence against Williams, claiming that while he can visit his family, the Pendleton’s can only visit Hadiya’s grave. Hadiya’s mother also spoke, opening up about what her daughter’s death has meant to her family and everyone who cared about her.
“You are responsible for so much sadness, it has been hell.” she said.
According to investigators, Williams and Michael Ward were looking for rival gang members to shoot when they hit Hadiya. Ward has already received an 84-year prison sentence, though we know his too should have been a life sentence.