On Wednesday, a Cook County judge sentenced convicted cop killer Bernard William to 76 years in prison for the 2010 murder of SWAT team officer, David Blake.
According to abc7, when asked if William wanted to make a statement before Judge Lawrence Flood handed down his sentence, he turned to face the officers as well about a dozen of William’s relatives.
“I’m sorry for your all’s loss, but I did not commit this crime,” Williams said.
Police officers scowled at his words.
According to prosecutors, Blake, 45, had been both a friend and mentor to Williams – the then teenage brother of Blake’s girlfriend.
Assistant State’s Attorney Arunas Buntinas said, Williams 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.
Michael Stanton, Blake’s cousin, said he had grown up with Blake and wanted to follow him into a law enforcement career. Stanton, now a corrections officer in Florida, said his cousin enjoyed visits down South to escape the stress of police work but wanted to stay in Chicago until he retired.
Stanton addressed Williams in court, reading from notes.
“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.”
Williams’ sentence consists of 55 years for a count of first-degree murder with another 21 years for armed robbery, including the seven years he has been jailed since his arrest – will keep him behind bars until at least 2086. Williams was arrested at 18, a month after the killing.
Blake was a member of the CPD SWAT team. Fellow officers had become a surrogate family to Blake, an only child whose parents died years before his murder, according to a police officer who declined to give his name to a reporter.
Martin Preib, Fraternal Order of Police Vice President, attended the sentencing and gave reporters a written statement from union President Kevin Graham.
“Officer Blake was a kind-hearted, compassionate and committed police officer senselessly and tragically murdered while off-duty,” Preib said reading the statement.
After a two-week trial that saw his sister, William was convicted in April. William’s sister who had been dating Blake took the stand as a witness for the prosecution. Photographs were introduced as evidence that showed Blake hosting Williams along with his friends, allowing them to pose with guns and rifles from his collection.
Prosecutors said Williams became obsessed with guns and frequently discussed his plans to steal and sell them.
On the night of the murder, Williams called Blake to ask for a ride, leading Blake into the 2900 block of West Seipp. William shot Blake in the face and ran off with the officer’s keys. Police had swarmed 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.