ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Large crowds gathered outside of the Robert Abrams Building in Albany on Friday holding signs that say “Release Marquis” but it’s what happened inside that gives them hope.

On March 17, 2014 16-year-old Marquis Dixon was arrested. Police say he lured a victim into meeting with him, and then stole his sneakers. The victim claims he threatened him with a gun, but a gun was never found at the scene or during the investigation.

Flash-forward to today and Dixon is in the midst of a 9-year prison sentence for the incident, but protesters are urging for the justice system to reduce the sentencing ahead of an appeals hearing.

Dixon’s attorney Carolyn George says she believes the court will do the right thing.

“The fact that he could summon this much support in a packed courtroom, I think it speaks volumes. I think this court is really under the microscope to do the right thing,” she said.

Dixon’s mom Aisha is also on hand reflecting on what this experience has been like for her family.

“All of us make choices and decisions that we wish we didn’t and that we could turn back time, but we can’t. I watch my son go from a 16-year-old teenage to watching my son become a grown man,” she said.

The timeline is now 6-8 weeks until we will learn whether his sentence will be reduced.