Kenneth Williams, a reputed gang member and the accused getaway driver, was found guilty of first-degree murder and aggravated battery on Wednesday.
Prosecutors said Williams’ co-defendant, Micheail Ward, actually fired the shots that killed Pendleton. Pendleton was fatally shot just days after she performed with her high school band at former President Barack Obama’s inaugural festivities. She was with friends at a park one mile from Obama’s Chicago home in January 2013 when she was killed.
In closing arguments, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Holmes told the jury that Williams was just as culpable in Pendleton’s death as the alleged gunman.
Prosecutors have said she was caught in the crossfire of a gang feud. The murder weapon was never found, and there’s no DNA, just surveillance video of the two defendants driving around the area on the day of the shooting in car similar to one later seen speeding away.
“You can’t convict someone for being in a car with Micheail Ward, and that’s the only evidence that you have,” William’s attorney, Matt McQuaid said.
Williams family left the courthouse visibly shaken.
“They can’t find no evidence. They got no evidence and no proof of nothing. They don’t got no evidence, so they find my nephew guilty for something he did not do,” Michael Beal, Williams’ uncle, said.