Sentence reduced for man convicted of killing 10-year-old

CHICAGO (WLS) -- On Tuesday, a judge reduced Clarence Williams's sentence by nearly two thirds in the murder of Arthur Jones in 2007.

Arthur Jones would have turned 20 last week. His mother celebrated his birthday at the Southside cemetery where he was buried.

An appellate court ruled Clarence Williams, one of the men convicted of Jones's murder nearly ten years ago, was not involved.

Nearly ten years after her son was murdered, Arthur Jones's mother, Rita Perez left court disappointed.

Clarence Williams, one of four men originally convicted of the murder of 10-year-old Arthur Jones, will now serve only about a quarter of what he was originally sentenced to.

"I know there was enough evidence there to convict this man and he should be held responsible," said Perez, Jones's mother.

The story got a lot of media attention. Arthur, known as A.J., was caught in the middle of gang gunfire in October 2007 at 55th Street and Halsted Street. He was on the way to the store with a friend to buy candy.

Williams was originally sentenced to 43 years, but an appellate court reduced his conviction to aggravated discharge of a firearm.

On Tuesday, Judge Maura Slattery Boyle made it clear she stood by her original murder conviction, but stated, "I am obligated to follow the mandate of the appellate court."

Williams told the judge: "I'm sorry to Ms. Perez and her family... I have been trying to better myself as a person."

"I'm sorry isn't good enough...I just don't want this to happen to someone else's child," said Perez.

Judge Boyle seemed to agree, sentencing Williams to 15 years, the maximum sentence allowed.

"It is inconceivable that afternoon that you treated 55th and Halsted as a shooting gallery. A. J. is dead. Murdered... to say your acts here were senseless is an understatement," said Judge Boyle.

"I cannot wrap my head around it or even explain. I'm truly devastated," said Perez.

Williams has already served 9-and-a-half years. His attorney told ABC 7 that he was disappointed in the new sentence.

The attorney said the appellate court made it clear Williams was not involved in the murder and that he was considering an appeal.
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