Teen guilty in 2016 killing of woman outside Bronzeville Starbucks sentenced to 35 years

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The teen found guilty of killing an innocent woman outside a Bronzeville Starbucks three years ago was sentenced to 35 years Thursday.

Javion Harris was just 16 years old in May 2016 when he chased and opened fire on a rival gang member near 35th and State Street.

While Harris wounded his intended target, Yvonne Nelson, a 49-year-old 311 operator who was walking out of a Starbucks that afternoon after buying a cup of tea, was killed. It happened blocks away from a high school and the Chicago Police headquarters.

"I'm glad that it's over and now my family can move on and we can live in Yvonne's legacy now," her sister Juanita said.

The teen was convicted in December of murder and attempted murder during a jury trial.

Cook County Judge Maura Slattery Boyle headed down the sentence saying, "This is a person that decided at the age of 15 to obtain a gun and open fire and kill an extremely innocent person, a lady getting a cup of coffee."

Harris, who was first charged as a juvenile, showed little emotion during the hearing. His family left court visibly upset and without comment.

During the hearing, two of Nelson's sisters read impact statements. An English teacher the teen had while in juvenile detention spoke on Harris' behalf, along with Marshun Allen, who was convicted of murder as a teen and now works as an advocate for restorative justice.

"Am a little disappointed that he received a 35-year sentence," Allen said. "I was hoping the judge gave him the minimum. Javion clearly showed that he had potential for rehabilitation."

The Nelson family said that with Thursday's sentencing, they can begin to heal. It's something they continue to struggle with as they vow to honor Yvonne's memory.

"Yvonne was more than just a victim. She was an aunt, a sister and a daughter -- and most important, she had a legacy that our family is uplifting," Dionne Nelson said.
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