One-time murder suspect in death of boy, 10, released after sentence reduced

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A man initially convicted of killing a 10-year-old boy in 2007 was released from prison, after his sentence was reduced.

Clarence Williams was originally sentenced to 40 years in prison in connection with the shooting death of Arthur Jones, who was just 10 when he was caught in gang gunfire at the intersection of 55th and Halsted streets while walking to the store to buy candy.

Rita Perez, Jones' mother, has been reliving the horror of her son's murder since learning last week that Williams was released in November.

"He died Oct. 17, 2007, 3:30 on a Wednesday evening; I'll never forget that day," Perez said.

Williams got the murder conviction overturned on appeal, but he did admit firing a weapon in the air that day in October 2007. He was sentenced to 15 years for aggravated discharge of a weapon.

RELATED: Sentence reduced for man convicted of killing 10-year-old
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On Tuesday, a judge reduced Clarence Williams's sentence by nearly two thirds in the murder of Arthur Jones in 2007.



Williams' attorney said the appellate court was right. His client was not responsible for the murder.

While Williams is home with his family, Perez says she can't move on with her life. She says it's her responsibility to speak out for her son because he can no longer speak for himself.

"I don't think that that's fair that someone killed a 10-year-old and can get a chance to keep living their life," Perez said.

Leshean Jackson was convicted of firing the shot that struck her son. He is serving a 60-year sentence

Perez has never come to grips with the death of AJ, as he was known. She got his name tattooed on her arms on his birthday last March. It would have been his 22nd.

"He always put a smile on my face, and now it's hard to smile having this person not in my life anymore," she said.

She said AJ was a funny kid who loved playing with model cars and wanted to grow up to be a minister.

Jones' murder is one of the incidents that prompted Chicago Public Schools to create safe passage routes to schools. Adult monitors serve as guardians at many schools to try to keep them safe before and after class.

RELATED: Safe Passage routes cleaned up path for safer walks to school
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160 safe passage routes across the city are getting cleaned up before the school year as part of an effort to help kids feel safer on their walks to school and from school.

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