MAN GETS 76- YEAR SEN­TENCE FOR 2010 MUR­DER OF OF­FI­CER

Chicago Sun-Times - - NEWS - BY ANDY GRIMM Staff Re­porter Email: agrimm@ sun­times. com Twit­ter: @ agrimm34

In a court­room packed with Chicago Po­lice of­fi­cers, a Cook County judge on Wed­nes­day sen­tenced con­victed cop killer Bernard Williams to 76 years in prison for the 2010 mur­der of SWAT team of­fi­cer David Blake.

When asked if he wanted to make a state­ment be­fore Judge Lawrence Flood handed down his sen­tence, Williams rose from his seat and turned to face the po­lice of­fi­cers, who lined court­room pews on the op­po­site side of the aisle from about a dozen of Williams’ rel­a­tives.

“I’m sorry for your all’s loss, but I did not com­mit this crime,” Williams said, draw­ing scowls from a hand­ful of of­fi­cers.

Prose­cu­tors said that Blake, 45, had been a friend and men­tor to Williams — then the teenage brother of Blake’s girl­friend

Williams, As­sis­tant State’s At­tor­ney Arunas Bunti­nas said, re­turned that kind­ness by plot­ting to trick the vet­eran of­fi­cer into driv­ing to a se­cluded al­ley in a South Side neigh­bor­hood and shoot­ing him.

“In­stead of tak­ing the ad­vice David Blake was giv­ing with re­gard to mov­ing for­ward and do­ing good, ( Williams) chose to lure him to his death and ex­e­cute him,” Bunti­nas said.

Blake’s cousin, Michael Stan­ton, said he had grown up with Blake and wanted to fol­low him into a law en­force­ment ca­reer. Now a cor­rec­tions of­fi­cer in Florida, Stan­ton said his cousin en­joyed vis­its down South to es­cape the stress of po­lice work but planned to stay in Chicago un­til he re­tired.

Read­ing from notes, Stan­ton ad­dressed Williams in court.

“I have no sym­pa­thy for you, no pity for you, and most of all, I have no for­give­ness,” Stan­ton said. “Given that they have got­ten rid of the death penalty … I hope they lock you up for nat­u­ral life.”

In­clud­ing the seven years he has been jailed since his ar­rest, Williams’ sen­tence — 55 years for a count of first- de­gree mur­der, with an­other 21 tacked on for armed rob­bery — will keep him locked up un­til at least 2086. Williams was 18 when he was ar­rested a month after the killing.

Blake was a mem­ber of the CPD SWAT team and also played on the En­forcers, a tackle foot­ball team made up of law en­force­ment of­fi­cers.

Fra­ter­nal Or­der of Po­lice Vice Pres­i­dent Martin Preib at­tended the sen­tenc­ing and gave re­porters a writ­ten state­ment from union Pres­i­dent Kevin Gra­ham.

“Of­fi­cer Blake was a kind­hearted, com­pas­sion­ate and com­mit­ted po­lice of­fi­cer sense­lessly and trag­i­cally mur­dered while off- duty,” Preib said read­ing the state­ment, which noted that the sen­tenc­ing came “dur­ing a dif­fi­cult week for po­lice of­fi­cers in Chi- cago and across the coun­try.”

Williams was con­victed in April after a two- week trial that saw his sis­ter — who had been dat­ing Blake — take the stand as a wit­ness for the prose­cu­tion. Pho­to­graphs in­tro­duced as ev­i­dence showed Blake host­ing Williams and his teenage friends, let­ting them pose with guns and ri­fles from his col­lec­tion.

Prose­cu­tors said Williams be­came fix­ated on the guns and re­peat­edly dis­cussed plans to steal them and sell them.

The night of the mur­der, Williams called Blake to ask for a ride, di­rect­ing Blake into a neigh­bor­hood of bun­ga­low- lined streets in the 2900 block of West Seipp. There, Williams shot Blake in the face and ran off with the po­lice of­fi­cer’s keys. Po­lice had swarmed to Blake’s house be­fore Williams could get back and take the guns, but two of Williams’ friends tes­ti­fied that he bragged about the killing that night.

| CPD PHO­TOS

Bernard Williams ( above) was con­victed last year of mur­der­ing CPD SWAT of­fi­cer David Blake ( left) in 2010.

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