Man sentenced to 71 years in prison for murder of 14-year-old Evanston boy

SKOKIE, Ill. (WLS) -- It was an emotional day in a Skokie courtroom as a man was sentenced to more than 70 years in prison for the murder a 14-year-old Evanston boy.

Dajae Coleman was shot and killed in 2012. He was a freshman at Evanston Township High School, who succeeded at school and athletics. Investigators said he was mistakenly targeted.

Coleman was walking with a group of friends in the 1500 block of Church Street when he was shot and killed, police said. Wesley Woodson was eventually identified as the suspect, arrested and charged with one count of first-degree murder and seven counts of attempted first-degree murder.

Woodson was convicted of all charges in 2017. He was sentenced Thursday after several delays.

Judge Lauren Edidin heard about Woodson's history of violence, drug use and disciplinary problems in high school and jail. The judge also heard from Coleman's parents.

"One senseless act. One senseless act ruined my life," Richard Coleman, father, told the judge.

Woodson's sister also addressed the court.

Woodson was sentenced to 71 years in prison.

Coleman's family said after seven years of court appearances they are grateful to put this behind them, even as they continue to grieve the loss of their son.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.
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