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State

Chicago officer convicted in shooting returns to court

CHICAGO (AP) – Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke returned to court Wednesday for the first time since a jury convicted him in the 2014 shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald, as his attorneys launched their effort to persuade a judge toss the verdict.

Van Dyke, who was wearing a suit and tie when he was last in court on Oct. 5, walked in from an inmate holding area wearing a yellow jail-issued jump suit and jail-issued slippers. During his few minutes standing with his attorney in front of the judge, he never appeared to look toward his wife and father, who sat among the spectators.

Van Dyke’s attorney, Dan Herbert, announced that he had filed requests for a new trial or an acquittal, and Judge Vincent Gaughan scheduled oral arguments for Dec. 14.

In one motion, Herbert reiterated an argument he first made in 2015 when dashcam video of the shooting was released to the public: that it would be impossible to find a fair and impartial jury in Cook County, where Chicago is located. The video shows McDonald crumpling to the ground in a hail of 16 bullets as he walked away from police.

Gaughan did not set a date for sentencing. Legal experts differ on whether the judge can order him to serve sentences for each count concurrently or must order then served consecutively. It could be the difference between a sentence of 6 years or several decades.

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For the AP’s complete coverage of the case: https://www.apnews.com/LaquanMcDonald

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