180 years in murder of NBA star's brother

BY KIM JANSSEN Staff Reporter/kjanssen@suntimes.com

FAR SOUTH SIDE | Quentin Richardson's sibling gunned down in failed holdup

Lee Richardson Jr.'s sister forgave his killers in court Wednesday afternoon -- but a judge wasn't so lenient.

Career stickup man Ishmael Clark will almost certainly die behind bars after Cook County Judge Joseph Kazmierski sentenced him to 180 years for the murder of NBA star Quentin Richardson's brother and the attempted murder of three Chicago cops.

Clark, 34, and co-defendants Elbert Dunnigan and Gino Wilson, robbed 31-year-old Richardson and his father, Lee Richardson Sr., at gunpoint at the Richardsons' yard at 115th and Parnell on Dec. 5, 2005.

When the robbery went bad, they started shooting, killing the younger Richardson but missing his father -- who survived by playing dead -- before being captured after a wild 5-mile chase.

Clark, the getaway driver, hit and injured a Chicago cop with his "van from hell" as he fled, and he attempted to run down two more after leaving the Richardsons for dead in the snow, prosecutors said.

Assistant Cook County State's Attorney James McKay told Kazmierski that Clark "doesn't deserve to live," urging a sentence of natural life.

Previous victims testified to Clark's role in other brutal robberies.

But in emotional testimony, Richardson's sister Rochelle Howard told the killers, "I forgive you for murdering my brother, and I pray that you will find a way to come to repentance."

Howard said her father, who wasn't in court, didn't agree and wanted "no mercy" shown to the men who killed his son "right before his eyes."

Clark, who had at least four prior felony convictions, showed no reaction as the sentence was announced, though a female relative ran from the courtroom crying and screaming.
Outside court, Howard hugged Clark's mother but said her father would be pleased with the sentence. Watching Clark's family's reaction was "devastating," she said.

She said gun violence, which also claimed the life of Richardson's older brother Bernard in 1992, and the life of one of Clark's siblings, "is a terrible disease in this city."

Wilson was sentenced to 15 years in a plea deal before Dunnigan, and Clark were convicted at a bench trial earlier this year. Dunnigan is due to be sentenced Friday.

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