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Silvonus Shannon gets 32 years in Chicago honor student slaying

Silvonus Shannon
The Chicago Police Department/AP Photo

Silvonus Shannon
The Chicago Police Department/AP Photo

(CBS/AP) CHICAGO - Silvonus Shannon was sentenced Thursday to 32 years in prison for taking part in the September 2009 beating death of high school honors student Derrion Albert, which was caught on video and posted online.

After more than an hour long hearing that included statements from the mother of Albert, Circuit Court Judge Nicholas Ford sentenced the 20-year-old Shannon.

Albert was 16 years old when he was attacked by a mob of people while walking on the street. Ford said he gave Shannon such a long prison term because he struck Albert when he was defenseless on the ground.

Shannon put his head in his hands and started crying when the judge announced the sentence. He asked Albert's family to forgive him, but Albert's mother, Anjanette, wouldn't accept it.

"There's no apology you could ever give to me that I would forgive you," she said.

Shannon was convicted in January. Two teens have also been convicted in Albert's death, and two other people still face charges in the attack, which drew widespread condemnation when video from the fight was posted online.

The attack on Albert marked the most vivid example of the violence that, in a six-month period in 2009, claimed the lives of more than 20 Chicago public school students. It also prompted President Barack Obama to dispatch two top Cabinet officials to Chicago to discuss ways to suppress the violence.