Officer Guilty in DUI Crash That Killed Teen

Richard Bolling ran over 13-year-old Trenton Booker as teen rode on his bike in May 2009

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Richard Bolling ran over 13-year-old Trenton Booker as teen rode on his bike in May 2009. (Published Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012)

    A Cook County jury on Wednesday found Chicago police officer Richard Bolling guilty of aggravated DUI and reckless homicide in connection with the death of a 13-year-old boy nearly three years ago.

    Trenton Booker, 13, was on his bike May 22, 2009 when he was struck while riding near 81st and Ashland. Bolling, now 42, was off-duty at the time.

    "We feel vindicated. We feel like all these years that we've been through ... we got our justice for Trenton," said Booker's father, Terrence Booker. "The jury was smart. They knew what was going on. They figured it out. They put us through a little strain on waiting, but we're so proud of the jury and we're so proud of the prosecuting team. They did a wonderful job."

    Lori Smith, head of Victim Witness Services for the Cook County state's attorney, had previously said Booker's family would not be speaking or releasing a statement on the verdict.

    Officer Bolling's family left the courthouse without addressing reporters.

    A forensic toxicologist last week testified that Bolling's blood-alcohol concentration at the time of the crash was as much as twice the state's legal limit of .08 percent.

    Bolling's attorney, Thomas Needham, said his client, a married father of two, was not impaired and cooperated with all of his colleagues' instructions and never asked for any special favors.

    Bolling's bond was revoked, so he'll continue to be in police custody until he's sentenced on Feb. 17. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

    Needham said he's going to try to push for the minimum sentence -- probation -- arguing that his client, in his 17 years on the force, had a clean record.

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