A Chicago man was found guilty on Jan. 10 of first-degree murder in the videotaped beating death of a high school honors student.
Silvonus Shannon, 20, faces up to 60 years in prison for his role in the attack. He was the second person convicted in the 2009 beating death of 16-year-old Derrion Albert, and was shown on the grainy videotape stomping Albert repeatedly outside of Fenger High School in Chicago.
Last month, a 15-year-old boy, the first person convicted in the 2009 beating, was found delinquent in juvenile court. Dominic Johnson, the 17-year-old cousin of the 15-year-old boy, testified against Shannon during the trial.
“Silvonus came around and stomped him,” Johnson said according to The Chicago Sun Times. “He stomped him in the head.”
Shannon’s lawyer, Robert Byman, argued that the pair were involved a fight rather than an attack, and that Albert was one of several people who attacked Shannon. He claimed that Shannon wanted to stay out of the fracas.
“Derrion Albert didn’t deserve to die that day, but he was a willing participant in that brawl,” Byman said, according to The Chicago Tribune. “All Silvonus Shannon wanted to do that day was get home.”
However, the video and prosecutors painted a different story. According to reports, in the video, Shannon can be seen kicking Albert, who lay on the ground after being hit punched and hit repeatedly. Prosecutors say Shannon jumped in the air and delivered a final stomp as Albert’s body lay motionless.
T-awannda Piper testified that she watched the brawl unfold from her office window about a half-mile from the incident. She said she went outside after the attack and brought Albert in.
“He took a deep breath,” she said on the stand. “There was nothing else.”
Three other men, Eric Carson, Eugene Riley and Lapoleon Colbert, are awaiting trial on charges in Albert’s murder.