Ward's attorney, Jeff Granich, suggested Ward is a victim of the intense national attention the case received and pressure to close the case.
"The problem when criminal cases get made into political cases ... rules are bent and mistakes are made," he said. Ward, he said, asked repeatedly for 48 hours to speak to an attorney but "during that time those requests were ignored by the Chicago Police Department."
Williams' attorney, Matthew McQuaid, said Williams was not a gang member and he doubted any admission of guilt.
"The question of whether Mr. Williams made any kind of statement, I think, is in question," said McQuaid, who described his client as a high school graduate who lives with his family and works at an air courier service at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
Williams' only run-in the law was on a retail theft charge "for which he received supervision," McQuaid said.