Former Cop Gets 3 Years In Deadly DUI Crash

Updated 03/06/12 – 6:10 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A former Chicago Police officer has been sentenced to three years in prison for driving drunk, hitting and killing a 13-year-old boy, and speeding off.

WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports Richard Bolling could have gotten as many as 17 years in prison, or could have been sentenced only to probation, on his conviction in January of aggravated driving under the influence and reckless homicide.

In addition to three years in an Illinois prison, Bolling will also serve two years’ probation afterward. He has been in custody ever since the deadly crash almost three years ago.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports

Bolling, 42, was convicted of driving drunk as he hit and killed Trenton Booker, 13. Booker was riding his bicycle near 81st Street and Ashland Avenue on May 22, 2009, when he was fatally struck by the off-duty officer’s vehicle.

As CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports, Trenton’s father, Terrence Booker, said he was “stunned” by the sentence handed down to Bolling.

“He never rendered aid, assisted Trenton, anything,” he said.

Trenton’s mother Barbara Norman said there’s no greater pain than losing a child, and Bolling’s sentence doesn’t seem fair.

“I don’t think there’s any number that’s going to replace the fact that my son is gone,” she said. “I just didn’t expect such a short period of time.”

Authorities said Bolling struck Booker with so much force, his bike was knocked underneath a parked SUV. Booker’s family said every bone in his body was broken by the impact.

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 a jury rejected that claim, convicting Bolling after deliberating about nine hours over two days.

After the sentencing, Bolling’s Attorney, Tom Needham, said, “He made a mistake and he will pay for the rest of his life for that mistake.”

Bolling, who is a married father of two, had dozens of family and friends in court to support him on Tuesday. They left without speaking publicly about his sentence.

“They’re upset, but at the other hand, they know it’s not the end of the world,” Needham said. “He could have gotten 10, 12 years in prison.”

Trenton’s family said they understand Bolling’s family is suffering too, but it’s nothing compared to their loss.

“At least they get to see their son. I don’t,” Terrence Booker said.

“It has been three years, and each day it’s just like yesterday for me. I don’t know if that will ever leave,” Norman said.

Trenton’s parents also said Bolling’s sentence only adds to their pain.

“He wiggled his way out of this one, you know what I’m saying?” Terrence Booker said. “So, we need to change the law somehow, some way. It’s not fair … to our family.”

Before he was sentenced, Bolling read a letter and apologized to Trenton’s family.

As part of his sentence Bolling will also have to perform 200 hours of community service; 40 hours of that at a morgue, the remainder at high schools and the police academy, talking to students and officers about his experience and the dangers of drinking and driving.

Trenton’s mother said she takes some comfort in knowing others might learn from what happened to her son and to Bolling.

  • WRONG answer

    Anybody else would have been locked up forever…………………………

    • Constable on Patrol and Drunk!!!

      When in need,call a COP?

    • Roberta Waker

      Right on. Because he’s a cop he will be out in less than six months because he has already been locked up for almost three years. He KILLED someone; it doesn’t matter if he was 13 or 18 or 30. Police have special training and he should NOT have hit this boy. This boy’s life was only worth three years in jail and probation? Wow!! What if it had been an innocent adult with a valid reason for being out on a bike? The jury already found him guilty and three years is not enough for driving drunk and killing someone – anyone. The parents must accept some responsibility, but they didn’t kill their son; a drunk cop did.

  • Ignorance is Bliss!!

    If the parents were doing their job the boy would be still alive…He (Cop) shouldn’t have been drinking and driving but the root cause was again an irresponsible parent. A parent who doesn’t want to admit its their fault. A 13 – boy sneaks out the house at 1am in the morning to ride his bike in the street. I seen some bad kids in my time but who sneaks out the house to ride a bike in the middle of morning. By the time your kid is 13 yrs of age, if they’re making these type of decision then you as a parent have failed….but I guess its easy to blame somebody else..

    • Bill T.

      What I want to know is this, what would he have gotten if the situation were exactly the same, except for the alcohol. A kid out after curfew, rides his bike the wrong way on a busy street, pulls out in front of a car and is killed. Should he still do jail time? What are the chances that he wasn’t intoxicated enough to have caused the accident? What if this was all the kids fault? Just because someone has alcohol in their system, doesn’t mean they are impared. I think probation would have been sufficient in this case. The fact he was a cop is completely irrelevant!

      • Roberta Waker

        Sorry, Bill, but the fact that he was a cop IS indeed relevant. He has had special training and is held to a higher standard than you and me. Even two drinks will impair your judgment. If the cop hadn’t been drinking, this boy might still be alive. If the boy hadn’t gone out in the middle of the night, he might still be alive. Bottom line is this boy is dead and the cop was drunk, but was protected by his fellow officers who didn’t test him until two hours after the accident for a reason. The jury didn’t buy it and neither do I.

    • madmom

      You should not blame the victim….13 year olds sneak out even with the best of parents watching over them. He did nothing wrong other than act like a stupid teenager.The officer is the one to blame,he chose to get behind the wheel of his vehicle drunk….as a police officer he should have known better…..and that’s the problem!

    • Lyndia

      The boy slipped out of the house. THE PARENTS WERE NOT AWARE OF THAT. It is safe to assume that you do not have children. You try to keep your eyes on your children all day and when you think they are asleep, SOME children will slip out. I would never do it and perhaps you would not either, but some children do and will.

  • lee

    The FBI and DEA fabricate evidence, steal from suspects and use murder to close those bad cases.
    At the corner of Calaveras and N. Park Victoria in Milpitas California two corrupt DEA allmost caused the death of an elderly lady while they where harrassing a suspect.
    The elderly lady was crossing the street about 15 yards ahead of the suspect’s car that was going west bound on Calaveras after having just pulled out of the Shell station. One of the DEA in the bus stop near the Shell station tried to gain the attention of the suspect thereby almost causing the car to hit the elderly lady. The other DEA was at the Shell station.
    They have also recently, on several occasions, entered my home while I was not there so that they can get better access to my vehicle and loosen steering linkages, remove wheel weights, tamper with breaks, tamper with transmission linkages, etc… Every time I detect that they have entered my home, my dog looks like he is not feeling well. Why take my insolence out on a dog?
    They are also shooting BB guns at my car while driving. One instance they shot a BB gun at my car in a very busy intersection of highways 680&101 while I was traveling 55+ mph.
    They have been harrassing me for 20 years.
    The DEA is part of the problem and not solution. Apart from being the proxy force for the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) and the NSA, they have been a failure since Nixon’s inception. The DEA could benefit from a large buget cut and employee rift to remove the corrupt ones.

  • Lyndia

    I must admit that the child should not have slipped out. The parents had NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT. It was a terrible mistake on Trenton’s part and it cost HIM HIS LIFE DUE TO A DRUNKEN COP. I hold no person to a higher standard because we are all human and humans makes mistakes. I am glad this cop got what he deserved. So many of them get off like the cop that ran INTO THE BACK OF TWO YOUNG MEN’S TRUCK, KILLED THEM AND HE WALKED.

  • NWA

    You people are foolish. Who cares how old the person he hit was, the fact still is that he hit a person while drunk on his ass with a brew in his hand. He got a light sentence because he was da po po. Typical Cook County Court system favors the wealthy and da po po.


  • Ignorance is Bliss!!

    That’s the problem with society people don’t want to take responsibility for their children and blame other people. You have to teach your kids about life and decision’s they make…and in this sad incident the child made a bad decision that cost him his life…but that’s how it works in the real world. The parents had nothing to do with it..are you serious…if they are under 18, then they are your responsibility…

    • madmom

      Ignorance IS bliss….you obviously do not have children.

      blaming the victim IS ignorant….

      • Ignorance is Bliss!!

        the Victim is a Victim because of his own decision….that kid could of my shot, raped or kidnapped….this can be a dangerous world so as parents we have to prepare our children for how the world is and not how it should be…..

  • Composite Truth

    This sentence was too light. He knowingly drove intoxicated , he knowingly placed an open beer in his car . He figured because he was the police , he can get away with anything. He did. He got away with an inappropriate sentence. What the hell can he possibly advice police recruits on concerning this issue ? His crime is not what he did , his crime is that he got caught ? He has thrown away a career and security that anyone would give anything for. How did he having this type of mentality get him past screens and on the force in the first place ? Oh, yeah , dad being a commander did’nt hurt getting him hired. He was hired by the City of Chicago to uphold the law, yet it seems not to apply to him. It’s all good , though . Booker’s parents will get their bread from the city and everybody will be happy.

  • Ignorance is Bliss!!

    The sentence was too light….I just don’t understand how people could actually believe that all the fault is on officer( and I am far from a COP Lover, but fact is fact). He was wrong and he’s going to pay for it…and the parents of the 13 yr. old will get some $$$ for being a bad parent…only in AMERICA…..

  • madmom

    This is a travesty….his family will suffer forever the loss of their boy….how dare this man walk free in three years!.

    Our system is whacked!

  • Mike

    Too light.

  • Magnolia House

    Reblogged this on Magnolia House.

  • Bob

    I want this on the news to show how crooked the law is when this officer kills a 13yr old boy for drunk driving, leaving the sceen of an accident blood level tested hours later and only gets 3yrs in prison, 200 hrs of community services and has to give siminars on drunk driving, when govenor Rob BLlagojevich gets 14yrs in prison and never made one red cent from his convictions. This whole system is corrupt. There is a great discrepency in the two cases. Rob Blagojevich never hurt anyone or took anyone’s life. This is not justice.

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