A Chicago man convicted of murder in the 2009 slaying of a 16-year-old boy has begun serving a 35-year sentence, authorities said today.

Cortez Powell, 30, was convicted in April of murdering Damier Love and shooting two men, then ages 45 and 53, on April 30, 2009, according to court records. On Tuesday, Criminal Court Judge Thomas Hennelley sentenced Powell to 35 years in state prison, and Powell began serving the sentence on Thursday, according to court and Illinois Department of Corrections records.

Powell and Brian Ward, now 26, of Rosemont, were arrested soon after the slaying. Both of them were accused of shooting at Love as part of a plan to target members of a rival gang, although Ward’s shots were the ones that killed Love, prosecutors said today in a news release.

Love and the two men were standing in front of a liquor store in the 5300 block of West Chicago Avenue around 12:45 a.m. when Ward and Powell approached the store and began firing, according to prosecutors.

Witnesses said they saw Ward fire multiple times in Love's direction, and when the teen fell to the ground, Ward stood over the victim and continued firing, prosecutors said.

Love did not know the two men injured in the shooting. Love apparently was the only target, police said at the time.

After the shooting, Ward, Powell and a third man who was with them fled the scene. Powell was arrested a short time later by police officers.

Under questioning, Powell said he had met up with Ward and a third man knowing that they were going to "shoot some Stones," referring to members of a South Side street gang, prosecutors said at the time the two were charged.

After police apprehended Ward, he told police that he had fired his gun at one of the injured men, prosecutors said.

Love, of the 4800 block of West Hubbard Street, was a Chicago Public Schools student who was enrolled at Marshall High School, a Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman said at the time. Love was the 34th CPS student killed during the 2008-2009 school year, according to CPS. CPS, citing the fact that it has never implemented a 2007 policy about how parents are to be informed about the disclosure of student information, no longer makes public whether victims of homicides are CPS students.

Ward is still awaiting trial and is next scheduled to appear before Hennelley on Wednesday.

lford@tribune.com

Twitter: @ltaford