Man convicted of killing 10-year-old getting shorter sentence

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017
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One of the men convicted of killing a 10-year-old is getting a shorter prison sentence.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Arthur Jones was just 10 years old when he was gunned down on the way to a candy store. Nine years later, one of the men convicted of killing him is getting a shorter prison sentence.

The pain is still fresh for a mother who said her son's killer shouldn't walk free.

A wall in her home is dedicated to the memory of her son including newspaper accounts of his murder 10 years ago.

Rita Perez, said she thinks about her son all the time.

"That boy was special to me. I loved him so much," Perez said.

Jones was with a friend after school on their way to buy candy at the store when they heard gunshots and started to run. AJ, as he was known, was hit by a bullet in the neck.

Four alleged gang members involved in a turf battle were later convicted in connection with the murder.

One of them, Clarence Williams was sentenced to 43 years. But the Court of Appeals has since overturned his first degree murder conviction.

The evidence was insufficient to demonstrate that defendant was accountable for the murder of AJ. Instead the court found Williams guilty of the lesser charge of aggravated discharge of a firearm with a maximum sentence of 15 years.

"I know this man Clarence Williams is responsible for my son's death," Perez said.

She said her son loved model cars. A school photo was taken just hours before AJ was killed.

Community leaders rallied around the family and called for an end to the senseless gang violence that claimed his life.

Perez said she fears more violence.

"I don't want this man to reoffend and hurt someone else's child," she said.

Williams is scheduled to be in court later this month.

He is awaiting his new sentence for the reduced charge of aggravated discharge of a weapon.

The sentencing range for that crime is five to 15 years.

Williams has already served 10 years so it's possible the judge could set him free.