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Gunman to be sentenced in Chicago honor student’s killing

CHICAGO — A Chicago man faces decades in prison for fatally shooting a 15-year-old honor student a week after she performed at then-President Barack Obama’s inauguration festivities in 2013.

Hadiya Pendleton became a symbol of Chicago’s gun violence when she was caught in the crossfire of a gang feud. She died about a week after performing in Washington as a majorette with her high school band.

Micheail Ward faces more than 50 years in prison during his sentencing hearing Monday. Jurors convicted the 24-year-old of murder and aggravated battery in August. Co-defendant Kenneth Williams was convicted of being the getaway driver.

Pendleton was shot on Jan. 29, 2013, at a park about a mile from the Obamas’ Chicago home. Obama spoke of her death during his 2013 State of the Union address, and then-first lady Michelle Obama attended the girl’s funeral.