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A Cook County jury on Wednesday convicted Chicago police officer Richard Bolling of aggravated DUI, reckless homicide and leaving the scene of a fatal accident in connection with the collision that killed a 13-year-old boy.
Trenton Booker was killed on May 22, 2009, while riding his bicycle near 81st and Ashland, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Booker's family wept when the jury's conviction was announced after more than nine hours of deliberations over five days of testimony.
"We feel vindicated. We feel like all these years that we've been through ... We got our justice for Trenton," Terrence Booker, the late teen's father, told NBC Chicago.
Bolling, a 17-year veteran of the force, admitted that he drank alcohol before getting behind the wheel of his Dodge Charger that night, but he told the jury that he was neither intoxicated nor did he immediately realize that he had hit the boy, according to CBS Chicago.
Police arrested Bolling a few blocks away from the collision, where he was seen driving the wrong way down a one-way street, the Chicago Tribune reports. Bolling also had an open beer in the front console of his car. A video camera in the squad car recorded an officer telling Bolling, "I'm gonna try to help you out as much as possible."
Prosecutors accused Bolling of receiving preferential treatment from police responding to the scene because he was not given a Breathalyzer test until over four hours after the collision, Fox Chicago reports. His blood alcohol level registered at .079, barely under the .08 legal limit.
Bolling was booked into Cook County Jail, where he will remain in protective custody until his sentencing, which is slated for next month. He has been suspended by the police force and the department, according to the Sun-Times, is moving to fire him. Bolling could face up to 15 years in prison, but will be eligible for probation.
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