Chicago Man Receives 70 Year Prison Sentence For Murder Of High School Student On CTA Bus

CHICAGO–(ENWESPF)–September 16, 2011.  A Chicago man was sentenced to 70 years in prison yesterday for the shooting death of a 17-year-old high school student on a CTA bus in an incident captured by bus video surveillance in 2008, according to the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Milton Wardlaw, 27, was convicted by a jury in July 2011 of First Degree Murder and Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm for the murder of Kiyanna Salter, a student at Julian High School.  Cook County Circuit Court Judge Diane Cannon sentenced Wardlaw to the 70 year prison term during a court hearing today.

According to prosecutors, on October 5, 2008, Wardlaw was riding on the same CTA bus as Salter in the evening hours when he became engaged in an altercation with another man aboard the bus.  As the bus approached 71st and Woodlawn, less than two blocks from his home, Wardlaw got up to exit the bus and became engaged in a verbal altercation with the male passenger.  The man then displayed part of a handgun that was in his pants pocket and Wardlaw then exited the bus through the side door. 

According to prosecutors, as the bus began to pull away from the stop,  Wardlaw walked several feet from the bus and took out a handgun he had been carrying and then turned and faced the bus once again.  Videotaped surveillance captured from the CTA bus showed Wardlaw raise the gun and fire at the bus as it moved forward.  Wardlaw was then captured on the video surveillance fleeing from the scene. 

“This is a fitting sentence that we hope will serve as a reminder and a deterrent to those who choose to engage in this type of reckless and senseless gun violence,” Alvarez said.  “If you endanger, shoot or take the life of an innocent person then you should be prepared to spend the rest of your life in prison.” 

The bullet fired by Wardlaw passed through the rubber seal in the center of the closed bus doors and struck Salter as she sat in her seat, hitting her in the eye and lodging in her brain.  She was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead. 

State’s Attorney Alvarez thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys David Weiner, Karin Swanson and Scott Horwitz for their work on this case.