Jurors in Jason Van Dyke trial speak ahead of cop's sentencing for Laquan McDonald murder

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Some of the jurors who convicted former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke in the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald spoke Wednesday about his upcoming sentencing.

Van Dyke will be sentenced at a Friday hearing, where he is expected to testify along with his wife and daughter.

The jurors, who had a front row seat to the trial to one of the highest-profile trials in Chicago history, said they hope the sentence is fair. Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan's sentence could range from probation to what amounts to life in prison.

RELATED: Key players in the trial of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke
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Key players in the trial of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke.

"Laquan don't have his life, they don't have him anymore. And I feel bad for the Van Dyke family, the girls, they are going to grow up without their father. It's sad. But it's sad on the other part too," said alternate juror Robin Davenport.

In October, Van Dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery for shooting the 17-year-old.

RELATED: Jason Van Dyke's attorneys ask for probation ahead of Friday's sentencing hearing

"If it was me, I would give life. ... I don't want to see him get a slap on the wrist just because they feel he's a police officer and people are feeling sorry for him," said juror Charlene Cooke, who was the only African American on the jury.
While race was only touched on briefly during the trial, elements of race in this case were perceived outside of the courtroom. Dashcam video of the shooting was a key piece of evidence in the trial and inflamed public reaction across the country.

Cooke has seen some of the letters requesting leniency for Van Dyke.

TIMELINE: Jason Van Dyke trial, Laquan McDonald shooting

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The shooting death of Laquan McDonald by Officer Jason Van Dyke is a story with ripple effects beyond the court case that follows.

"Everybody is feeling sorry for everybody now. You look at both sides. I feel sorry for the Laquan family, I feel sorry for his family, but we can't look at it like that as far as sentencing goes. We have to be fair," she said.

McDonald's family is also expected to testify during the sentencing hearing.

RELATED: Dash-cam video of police shooting of Laquan McDonald
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