Man who shouted at victim's parents released from jail

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.

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rsp wrote on July 16, 2014 at 10:07 am

Tyler Craft should also apologize to the Liu family, who had done nothing to him or his father.

787 wrote on July 16, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Both of the sons should still have their butts sitting in the jail.

It is nothing more than the typical inexcusable, thug-like behavior that some in our society seem to imbrace now.  Act like a complete idiot... spend some time in jail.

The one son serving the six months needs to serve every single day of it.   There's NO excuse for what he did.  None.

sweet caroline wrote on July 16, 2014 at 6:07 pm

He terrified Mimi's parents and absolutely owes THEM an apology.  They've suffered enough!