Jason Van Dyke’s defense attorney said Monday that he expects the former Chicago police officer to receive the minimum possible sentence, possibly just three years in prison for his convictions in the Laquan McDonald shooting.
The attorney also says he believes any jury outside of Cook County would have acquitted Van Dyke.
“I believe that this guy is one tough guy and he’s going to survive,” said defense attorney Dan Herbert.
Herbert says he hasn’t spoken with Jason Van Dyke since Friday afternoon, in a holding cell behind the courtroom.
“I told him I was proud of him and I told him to keep his chin up and told him, he’s gone through this, he can handle three years. no problem,” Herbert said.
That’s right, just minutes after the verdict was announced, Herbert was already expecting a sentence of three years. He says Van Dyke’s second-degree murder conviction will be disregarded in favor of the sixteen aggravated battery counts and since they arose from one act, the range will be six to thirty years. He expects Van Dyke to get the minimum and serve only half.
“Somebody with no background, they always get the minimum. On a class X. So we expect nothing different,” Herbert said.
Some legal analysts, though, expect a much longer sentence. Herbert says he’s had no second thoughts on trial strategy. Van Dyke, he says, insisted on a jury instead of a bench trial. Van Dyke also rejected some of Herbert’s suggestions about testifying.
“For instance, I wanted to show some humanity in him, have him recognize that the video looked bad. And he got it. But he truly had trouble with that, because what he saw, is so ingrained in his mind. and he believes without a doubt that what he did was necessary,” Herbert said.
Herbert says Van Dyke does have fears about being a former police officer in a state prison. He says efforts are already underway to get him some protection.