KANKAKEE — Andrew L. Langston, of St. Anne, was sentenced to four years in prison for leaving the scene of a hit-and-run accident in which 12-year-old Marcus James was seriously injured in May.
The hearing was held Wednesday before Judge Thomas Cunnington in Kankakee County Court.
Marcus’ mom, Yashyca Hill, his younger sister, uncle and aunt were at the hearing.
Marcus spoke during the hearing, forgiving Langston and hoping they could be friends after Langston is released from prison, according to State’s Attorney Jim Rowe.
“His forgiveness was a powerful lesson for the adults in the courtroom, and a testament to his family’s faith,” Rowe said. “Marcus is an amazing young man with an amazing and forgiving spirit.”
Hill said Marcus “wrote some things down but when it was time for him to testify, he chose to just speak from his heart.”
Assistant state’s attorney Val Gunderson prosecuted the case. She asked for the maximum sentence of seven years.
“For a 12-year-old boy, he is one strong, kindhearted man,” she said.
Hill said Marcus faces another surgery early next year.
“I have mixed emotions about the ruling, but I know God is in control, although I don’t understand, but I have to trust and believe that this His will,” Hill said via Facebook.
The 24-year-old Langston was represented by public defender Emile Capriotti.
Langston also spoke during the hearing and said he regretted his actions that day.
The accident occurred at 11:05 a.m. May 25 in the 600 block of North Chicago Avenue.
Hill said she picked up Marcus at her mother’s. He forgot to close the front door and was on his way to do that. Marcus looked both ways before crossing the street. Hill said the car came out of nowhere. It struck Marcus, tossing him into the air. Hill and her daughter saw it. Hill said she yelled for the driver to stop.
According to investigators, witnesses saw Langston run a four-way stop at North Chicago Avenue and Birch Street. He fled east on Birch.
With the help of witnesses and people calling in tips, investigators found the vehicle, a 2011 Hyundai four-door sedan, on May 30 in St. Anne.
Langston was arrested in Johnson County, Ind., on unrelated charges.
Investigators from the Kankakee Police Department interviewed him in June.
After he was sentenced on the Johnson County case; Langston returned to Kankakee County last August.
According to Kankakee County court records, Langston will be back in court today for sentencing in three unrelated cases.
At the time of the accident, Langston was wanted on a warrant for failing to appear for cases that deal with fraud, burglary and theft.