JOLIET (CBS) — A repeat drunken driver who has spent time in prison for a DUI crash that killed a Lockport girl has been found guilty of another DUI charge.
Glen Higginbotham, 34, of Yorkville, was found guilty of aggravated driving under the influence Thursday by Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak. She presided over a bench trial on the charge last week.
He is due in court Dec. 6. Higginbotham’s lawyer said he planned to file a motion to reconsider the verdict.
Higginbotham got seven years in prison for reckless homicide after a May 1999 crash in downtown Lockport that killed 10-year-old Candace Graham. Police said he was legally drunk and had cocaine in his system at the time.
That night, he was driving 81 mph in a 35-mph zone with a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit when he smashed into the car containing the girl.
Graham, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown into the back seat by the force of the collision, which occurred as her mother was pulling out of a convenience store parking lot. Constance Graham later admitted that she also was intoxicated at the time.
Higginbotham was in prison from May 2000 to July 2008 for the reckless homicide conviction, followed by two years of parole.
Officers caught Higginbotham drunk behind the wheel on Dec. 4, 2010, on Nicholson Street in Joliet.
He is still awaiting sentencing on that 2010 aggravated DUI and on aggravated driving with a revoked license, charges he pleaded guilty to in March.
The latest aggravated DUI charge is from an incident on Dec. 25, 2011, when police said Higginbotham hit a vehicle on New Lenox Road near Oakview Drive in Joliet while driving drunk.
Higginbotham faces between 2 and 10 years in prison on the 2010 case and between 3 and 14 years on the 2011 case. One sentence would have to be served before the other, said Charles B. Pelkie, spokesman for the Will County state’s attorney’s office.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)