CHICAGO (AP) – The white Chicago police officer convicted in the 2014 shooting death of Black teenager Laquan McDonald is days away from walking out of prison after just over three years behind bars.
An Illinois Prisoner Review Board official said Jason Van Dyke will be released on Feb. 3. Van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder and aggravated battery in the killing of McDonald, whom he shot 16 times.
Van Dyke’s 81-month sentence was effectively cut in half for good behavior in prison. Chicago was forced to release police video of the shooting, leading to protests in the city and causing outrage nationwide.
BENTON – A Belle Rive woman was sentenced in federal court in Benton Tuesday afternoon to two years’ probation and was ordered to pay restitution to her victims for stealing from greeting cards while working for the U.S. Postal Service.
According to court records, 31-year-old Casey L. Neal pled guilty in October of last year to theft of mail by a postal service employee.
In January and February of last year, while working as a substitute sales and distribution clerk at the Belle Rive, Dahlgren, and Macedonia post offices, Neal stole over $300 worth of cash and gift cards from greeting cards that were sent through those post offices. Neal used some of the gift cards to purchase money orders used to pay her personal creditors.
After being alerted to the thefts, investigators located other gift cards from retailers and restaurants, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Chik-fil-A, and Dairy Queen, which Neal had stolen from the mail.
The case was investigated by the United States Postal Service, Office of the Inspector General and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Zoe J. Gross.