The man accused of fatally shooting 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was found guilty of murder in Chicago on Thursday.
A Cook County jury delivered a guilty verdict against Michaeil Ward for first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated battery. As the verdict was read, Ward sat with a stoic look on his face.
Prosecutors said that in 2013, Ward fired a gun into a crowd at a Chicago park in retaliation against rival gang members, killing Pendleton.
He was the second defendant in the trial to be convicted. The getaway driver, Kenneth Williams, was also found guilty of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated battery by another jury on Wednesday. The two were tried together, but had separate juries.
Police had said that Ward had confessed to shooting Pendleton and two others in a case of mistaken identity. His defense attorney had argued that Ward’s videotaped interrogation had been forced because police were under pressure to solve the crime quickly, according to CNN affiliate WLS.
Pendleton, who often urged friends to stay away from gangs, was an honor student and band majorette. She had performed with her marching band at an event for then-President Barack Obama’s second inauguration a week before she was shot.
Her death prompted a wave of debate about gun violence in Chicago. It also brought an outpouring of support for Pendleton’s family. Michelle Obama and members of the Obama administration attended her funeral.
Her friends have worn orange in her honor and called for gun reform. They chose orange because it’s the color hunters wear to avoid being shot.
CNN’s Sheena Jones, Brad Parks, Steve Almasy and Ted Rowlands contributed to this report.