Chicago cop convicted in deadly hit-and-run crash

January 18, 2012 3:01:39 PM PST
A Cook County jury has convicted Chicago Police Officer Richard Bolling of driving drunk in a deadly hit-and-run crash that killed 13-year-old Trenton Booker.

The jury also found Bolling guilty of leaving the scene of the accident that happened last May.

Bolling, 42, was found guilty of two counts of aggravated DUI, one count of leaving the scene of a fatal accident, and another count of reckless homicide.

Bolling insisted on the night of the May 2009 incident that he had only had a couple of drinks. He was off-duty at the time.

Witnesses say Bolling was southbound in his Dodge Charger on Ashland at a high rate of speed when he struck and killed Booker, who was riding his bike with a friend. It was 1:30 in the morning. Booker had left his home without his parents' knowledge.

Bolling did not initially agree to a breathalyzer. When did agree to one four hours later, he blew a .079, just below the legal limit. A state forensics expert testified at trial that, had he been given a breathalyzer in a timely fashion, he would have been well over the legal limit of intoxication.

For Booker's family, it has been a long 2 1/2 years.

"It was real difficult, no sleep, restless nights," said Terrance Booker, the victim's father. "We just haven't had time to gather everything together, but today was the day that Trenton got his justice, and we're so proud of Trenton, and we're so proud of the justice system-- today it worked...We won this one."

Bolling went on leave from the police department after the crash and was not being paid the city. He was out on bond, but immediately after the verdict, he was taken into custody and is currently in jail.

Bolling will be sentenced next month. He faces the possibility on the aggravated DUI charges of up to 12 years in prison.