CHICAGO (WLS) -- Marques Gaines died in River North in 2016 after a man punched him, knocking him unconscious and into the street where he was run over by a taxi. The man who punched him was released from prison Friday.
Gaines' family said the man who punched him was the catalyst for his death and called his release from prison unjust.
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Marcus Moore, 34, has multiple felony convictions and would later plead guilty in the case.
Gaines' family said the early release was a betrayal.
"It's already a blow when you lose a family member, but to find out that you're not going to receive real justice, it's hard. Today is hard," said Drexina Nelson, Gaines' cousin, fighting back tears.
Nelson spoke to ABC7 Eyewitness News from Atlanta hours after Moore walked out of prison and six months after he pleaded guilty to aggravated battery for punching Gaines outside a River North 7-Eleven in February of 2016.
The encounter was caught on surveillance video. The video shows Moore dropping Gaines with one punch. Others run to Gaines but instead of helping him they rob him.
Less than two minutes later a taxi rounds the corner and runs over Gaines, who is unconscious in the street.
Onlookers and police lifted the taxi off of Gaines, who would later die at a hospital.
"There are really no words. It just feels like his life was meaningless to people," Nelson said.
Moore was arrested in January 2017, but was not charged with murder. Instead he pleaded guilty to aggravated battery and was sentenced in June to four and a half years. That sentence was then reduced and he was credited with time served.
He ended up behind bars for less than two years.
"I don't know, I think the law needs to take it more seriously. Even if you... you shouldn't touch people. Period," Nelson said.
In a statement, the Cook County State's Attorney's office said Moore was charged with the most serious offenses based on the law and supported by the evidence. To that, Nelson said perhaps the law needs to change.
Man who punched Marques Gaines before he was struck, killed by cab, released from prison
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