Shawn Gaston was found guilty last month in the fatal shooting of Chicago Police Officer Alejandro Valadez. Valadez, 27, and his partner were investigating reports of gunfire in the Englewood neighborhood when he was killed. Valadez worked at District 7 in Englewood. "We believe it was the appropriate sentence for the crimes committed," said the victim's sister, Brenda Valadez. " As we previously stated after the verdict last month, this is not a happy occasion for us, but we are thankful that justice was served."
Prosecutors say in June of 2009, Gaston, seeking revenge, fired shots at other alleged gang members who Valadez was interviewing at the time. Gaston and his attorney claimed he fired shots from a different gun, not the one that killed Valadez.
Prosecutors also say that Gaston knew he was shooting at a police officer.
"We are satisfied with the sentence that was given and we asked for the maximum amount of time because we felt strongly that the killing of a Chicago police officer on duty deserves the maximum amount of time," said Cook County State's Attroney Anita Alvarez.
Police say Gaston, along with Kevin Walker and Christopher Harris, admitted their roles in the crime.
The other two are awaiting trial in the case. Gaston's attorney, John Paul Carrol , said Gaston will appeal.
"A black kid from Englewood gets a fair trial? Only in your dream," Carrol said. "I was a homicide detective for years. They have no evidence against this kid, none. But they can't believe they got the wrong guy."