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Ex-Cop Who Shot Chicago Teen Beaten in Prison: Lawyer

Jason Van Dyke's wife: 'We are all petrified and in fear for Jason's life'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2019 9:20 AM CST
In this Jan. 18, 2019, file photo, former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke attends his sentencing hearing in Chicago for the 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald.   (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool, File)

(Newser) – The former police officer who killed Chicago teen Laquan McDonald just started serving time in his almost seven-year sentence, but he's already run into trouble. Jennifer Blagg, one of Jason Van Dyke's defense lawyers, tells USA Today her client was assaulted by other inmates after being moved from an Illinois jail to a federal prison in Danbury, Conn. Blagg didn't say how badly Van Dyke was hurt in the Feb. 5 incident, but a source said to know his family says his face was injured. Authorities apparently had concerns for his security, and Blagg says he'd been kept in the state facility "where he felt safe" before moving to Danbury. His lawyers say he was beaten about four hours after arriving there, per NBC News. "We are all petrified and in fear for Jason's life," his wife, Tiffany, tells the Chicago Sun-Times. “Jason ... does not want any trouble."

She adds that her husband "never should have been in the general population" and that she expects prison authorities to remedy that. A source says the family didn't even find out about his transfer to the low-security prison until a couple of days afterward. Meanwhile, Van Dyke's sentence is once again in the spotlight after a petition filed Monday by special prosecutors and the Illinois attorney general's office seeking a resentencing, which could result in a longer prison term, per the Chicago Tribune. Van Dyke's attorneys had initially seemed to step away from looking to appeal, but this move from the prosecution spooked them enough that they filed a notice for one on Friday. "Jason and his family very much want to put this behind them," Blagg says. Van Dyke's wife is set to have a press conference Thursday. (More on Van Dyke's sentence here.)

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