Last Tuesday, a Chicago police officer was sentenced to 3 years in prison for a fatal DUI crash. Officer Richard Bolling, 43, was off-duty when he struck Trenton Booker, 13, with his Dodge Charger in May of 2009. One of the two officers that stopped Bolling after he left the scene testified that her watch commander ordered her to “hold off” on conducting field-sobriety tests. The tests were eventually administered 2 hours after the crash. Both officers had claimed that Bolling passed the tests at the time of the crash but changed their opinion during their testimony at trial claiming he failed various parts of the sobriety tests. Bolling was finally given an breath test by an internal affairs sergeant 4 1/2 hours after the crash. His BAC registered below .08. A forensic toxicologist estimated Bolling’s BAC was as much as twice the legal limit (.16) at the time of the crash.
In January, Bolling was found guilty of aggravated DUI, reckless homicide, and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. Bolling could have been sentenced to probation or up to 15 years in prison. He had no prior DUI charges or criminal record. Seven current and former cops as well as two retired judges asked the Judge for mercy during Bolling’s sentencing hearing. Bolling also gave an apology to the boy’s family. Ultimately, a Cook County judge sentenced Bolling to 3 years in prison. He will be placed upon 2 years of probation after his prison term. Also, he is required to speak about his experience at high schools and talk to recruits at the Chicago Police Academy about how to properly handle an investigation of another officer.