Before he was sentenced to life in prison for off-duty Chicago Police Officer Thomas Wortham IV’s murder, Marcus Floyd stood up in a Cook County courtroom Tuesday to remind the judge and spectators that he couldn’t recollect what led to the deadly shooting.
“I never got a chance to live my life . . . It’s hard waking up every morning,” Floyd said, wiping his tears with his beige Cook County Jail shirt.
“I just want to remember what happened.”
Floyd, 24, also addressed Wortham’s family, telling them not to forget that he also lost his cousin, Brian Floyd, in the hail of gunfire that showered over a quiet residential Chatham street on the evening of May 19, 2010.
Marcus Floyd, who was wounded in the incident and claims his injures led to “retrograde amnesia,” said he had dreamed of being a Chicago Police officer and joining the Navy.
But prosecutors and Wortham’s loved ones stressed that Marcus Floyd was hardly a victim since he joined his 20-year-old cousin, Brian, and two others in a thwarted scheme to steal Wortham’s new Yamaha bike.
“People like Marcus Floyd are excellent at making excuses for themselves but terrible at doing anything to better their situations,” Wortham’s sister, Sandra Wortham, said, seething.
“Any sentence imposed upon Marcus Floyd today will be a gift to him. It will pale in comparison to the savage murder he committed. I can only pray that God knows something I don’t, and that true justice for Marcus Floyd will come in some other, special way.”
Judge Timothy Joyce said he believed Marcus Floyd suffers from amnesia but “just because Marcus Floyd doesn’t remember what happened, it doesn’t mean what took place didn’t happen.”
Joyce said while the media has recently been “trumpeting” certain police conduct, Wortham and his father, retired Chicago Police Sgt. Thomas Wortham III, were beyond “brave and selfless” when they opened fire against the younger Wortham’s assailants.
The elder Wortham testified in October that he saw a heavier-set man, prosecutors identified as Floyd’s cousin, point a gun at his son’s head.
He also said he saw Marcus Floyd with his hand pointed toward Wortham IV, who identified himself as a police officer.
Marcus Floyd said if the “shoe was on the other foot” and he told police he shot at someone because he thought they had a gun, he’d still be held accountable.
Joyce noted earlier that it would go against “Armed Robbery 101,” if two people tried to rob someone with just a single weapon.
The lookouts in the deadly crime — Paris McGee, 25, and Toyious Taylor, 35 — are serving life sentences.
In his victim-impact statement, Wortham III spoke fondly of his eldest child who he often went fishing and played golf with.
Wortham III said he was his son’s Little League coach and watched him grow into “the type of person who stepped up when he saw a need or job to be done.”
“. . . As a father, I could not have been prouder of the man he turned out to be,” Wortham III said.
The elder Wortham said he hopes Marcus Floyd will spend the rest of his life trying to help steer other young men from a life of crime.
But Wortham IV’s mother was less hopeful.
“Anyone who thinks I’m going to sit here and talk about ‘second chances’ in this situation is listening to the wrong lady,” Carolyn Wortham said.
“While I’m trying not to be judgmental, my experience has taught me that some bad people will not change. They will just keep trying to make you think they have, and those people should not walk among us. Tommy does not get a second chance to do anything — build his career, have children, make a difference in his community or just enjoy the life he had worked so hard to create. And I will always miss that.”