BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN
Angelo Bennett said all he’s ever wanted to do since he was charged with murdering a gentlemen’s club manager was apologize to the slain man’s family.
He got his chance on Wednesday.
“I pray for your forgiveness,” Angelo Bennett said, looking toward Charles E. Jones’ friends and relatives. “Sincerely from the depths of my being, I am sorry.”
Before Bennett was sentenced to 45 years in prison for killing Jones and wounding Jones’ fiancee, Jones’ cousin read a victim-impact statement written by Jones’ mother.
In the statement, Jones was described as a “gentle giant” and caring “mama’s boy” who respected women while Bennett was characterized as “deceitful,” a “menace” and “bad seed.”
Jones’ fiancee Kathy Bias said since the incident May 26, 2013, she can’t close her eyes without seeing Bennett chase and try to kill her as he did after a traffic dispute on Goose Island.
Bias said she feels lost without 42-year-old Jones, a “hero” who she had hoped to start a family with.
“You didn’t only put a hole in my back,” Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Paul Joyce said, reading Bias’ statement. “You put a hole in my heart.”
Judge Carol Howard said Jones may have initiated the physical altercation after his Maserati and Bennett’s Buick LaCrosse collided. But the fight had ended before Bennett decided to grab his .38-caliber revolver and shoot Bennett in the face and Bias in the back.
Bennett, 26, did not act in self-defense, the judge said, reiterating her ruling in Bennett’s bench trial in March.
Bennett’s mom stood by her son’s story while she defended him on the stand Wednesday.
“You did nothing wrong,” Geneva Bennett said, sobbing. “You wanted to live.”
“He’s a murderer,” one of Jones’ relatives said under his breath as Geneva Bennett denied her son was a trigger-happy “thug.”
During his trial, Bennett said he initially tried exchanging information with Jones after a fender-bender but said Jones waved him off.
Bennett then drove away to the 1000 block of North Branch Street because he didn’t want officers investigating the crash to find the gun he had in the car.
Jones and Bias drove after Bennett. When Bennett’s friend asked to be let out of the Buick, Bennett hid his gun underneath another parked car.
Jones had physically attacked Bennett, but he eventually let Bennett go, according to court testimony. Still, Bennett was so incensed that Jones had confronted him, he went to get his gun and fired at the two victims without warning, prosecutors said.