Man who shouted at victim's parents released from jail
URBANA — An Urbana man who yelled in a courthouse hallway after his father was sentenced to prison has been released from the Champaign County Jail.
Tyler Craft, 27, of the 1200 block of West Hill Street, pleaded guilty Wednesday morning before Judge Richard Klaus to a single count of disorderly conduct and was sentenced to eight days in jail.
That's how long Craft has served since a tumultuous hearing last Wednesday during which Klaus sentenced Craft's father, Willie Craft, 59, to 3 1/2 years in prison for reckless homicide for causing the death of Mimi Liu, 20, on Oct. 9.
After the judge announced the sentence, Craft's son, Willie Craft Jr., 30, stood in the courtroom and began yelling, calling Klaus a name and criticizing his decision to send his father to prison. He was immediately found in direct criminal contempt of court and taken to jail.
After the hearing, Tyler Craft, another of Craft's sons, went in the hallway where he confronted Miss Liu's parents, prompting security officers to arrest him for disorderly conduct. The Class C charge to which he pleaded guilty alleged that he yelled at the Lius and lunged toward them in a manner that alarmed and disturbed them.
The younger Willie Craft, meantime, filed a motion Wednesday asking Klaus to reconsider the six-month jail sentence for contempt.
On Tuesday, he sent Klaus a letter of apology in which he said the stress of his father's case accounted for his "outrage" in court.
"It was all emotions and nothing else. I never thought I would see the day my father went to prison and it just tore me apart," he said in his letter.
"Please forgive me for making a fool out of myself and making things worse for my family. That person ... is not who I am."
Klaus has not set a hearing date on the request.