Sentencing Delayed For Cop In Deadly Hit-And-Run
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UPDATED: 2/22/2012 – 5:25 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Sentencing for a Chicago police officer convicted in a deadly hit-and-run crash in 2009 has been pushed back two weeks after a judge heard emotional testimony from the victim’s family who are seeking a stiff sentence, as well as from friends of the officer who urged lenience.
Richard Bolling has been in protective police custody since his aggravated driving under the influence and reckless homicide convictions last month.
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Bolling, 42, faces up to 15 years in prison for the hit-and-run death of Trenton Booker, 13, who was riding his bicycle near 81st Street and Ashland Avenue on May 22, 2009, when he was fatally struck by the off-duty officer.
On Wednesday, Bolling sat in his orange prison jumpsuit during a sentencing hearing in which Booker’s family members read victim impact statements. After a long day of testimony, the sentencing hearing was continued until March 6.
Trenton’s father, Terrence Booker, testified Wednesday that so much was lost because of Bolling’s selfish acts.
“Trenton was one in a million,” he said, struggling to speak. Trenton’s mother, Barbara Norman, added that there would be a lifetime of milestones missed, including Trenton’s high school graduation next year.
Bolling’s defense called a long list of witnesses on Bolling’s behalf to testify about his character and urge the judge to show mercy. Among those testifying for Bolling were a pastor, two retired judges and several current and former police officers.
Bolling had an open beer in the car, and the 17-year Chicago Police veteran never took any sobriety tests until at least two hours after his arrest.
Bolling had admitted to drinking alcohol before driving his Dodge Charger on the night he ran over Booker, but denied he was drunk or that he knew right away he had hit the boy.
But last month, a jury rejected that claim, convicting Bolling after deliberating about nine hours over two days.
His attorney is arguing for probation for Bolling, the son of a police commander and the father of two.