Hadiya`s mom on murder charges, State of the Union invitation - FOX 35 News Orlando

Hadiya`s mom on murder charges, State of the Union invitation

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  • Hadiya Pendleton case: 2 charged in slaying of teen honor student

    Two charged in slaying of Hadiya Pendleton

    Tuesday, February 12 2013 10:16 AM EST2013-02-12 15:16:42 GMT
    Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, were charged with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm.
    Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, were charged with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm.
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, are charged with the murder of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton. The arrests came one day before the president is supposed to speak to the nation about gun violence.

Pendleton's parents, Cleopatra and Anthony, are in Washington D.C. to be the official guests of First Lady Michelle Obama for Tuesday's State of the Union Address.

FOX 32's Darlene Hill talked first with the Pendleton family a short time after the charges were charges were announced in Chicago.

"I am amazed," Hadiya's mother, Cleopatra, says. "I'm so excited, I'm happy that the murder of Hadiya Pendleton is now off the street. I look forward and I hope they are convicted to the fullest extent of the law, and I'm going to be in court every day, every day of this until the results are shared with us."

Pendleton's mom said there is no such thing as closure for her in this case.

"How I do put closure on the rest of her life?" Cleopatra asks. "There is no such thing. I'm robbed. She was only 15 years old."

When asked if she ever had any doubt that police would get to an arrest as quickly as they did, Cleopatra responded saying, "you know, I didn't have a time frame on it but did I hope she wouldn't be another cold case. You know, Rahm Emanuel has been phenomenal, McCarthy has been phenomenal. I know that all the necessary efforts were put forth on trying to reach some resolve, so I'm very happy to hear that they've apprehended these two criminals."

Hadiya's father said he's "ecstatic" with the news of the arrests, adding "it's not over yet."

"We are looking for a conviction," Anthony says. "Like she said, kudos to Chicago P.D. You all did a great job. McCarthy, McGavin, you guys worked close with us, you kept us, you know, involved, and thank you."

The Pendleton family says they're not happy their child has become a symbol of gangs and gun violence in Chicago, but they are glad the issue is finally being addressed.

"I'm happy her death was not in vein," Hadiya's mother said. "If there has to be a poster child, I'm glad number 42 made it. 1 through 41 were equally important We are going to do some things, hopefully some changes are to come."

As for the gunman, Hadiya's father says, "I want them to be a poster child for every criminal to say, ‘I don't want to be this guy.'"

The Pendleton family will be meeting on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, for President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address to the nation.

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