Drunken driver who killed girl goes back to prison for more DUIs
By Janet Lundquist Sun-Times Media email@example.com January 7, 2013 5:58PM
Updated: February 9, 2013 6:24AM
A man who previously spent years in prison for a drunken crash that killed a 10-year-old Lockport girl is headed back to prison on drunken driving convictions.
Will County Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak sentenced Glen Higginbotham Jr., 34, of Yorkville, was sentenced Monday to 8 years in prison for two DUI charges stemming from incidents in 2010 and 2011.
“If there was ever a case where an individual is knocking on the prison door to get in, it would be this defendant,” Assistant State’s Attorney Tom Slazyk said.
Higginbotham spent eight 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.
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 hit the car the girl was riding in.
Candace, 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, and then spent two years on parole.
On Dec. 4, 2010, officers caught Higginbotham drunk behind the wheel on Nicholson Street in Joliet. He pleaded guilty to that charge in March 2012.
The second DUI charge was from an incident on Dec. 25, 2011 when police said Higginbotham, who was on bond from the 2010 arrest, hit a vehicle on New Lenox Road near Oakview Drive in Joliet while driving drunk.
Higginbotham’s attorney, Alonzo Zahour, argued that Higginbotham has shown remorse and has attended regular drug and alcohol classes while he has been in the county jail.
And Higginbotham on Monday said he was sorry.
“I apologize to the court for the mistakes that I’ve made. I’m doing what I can to help myself get past that,” Higginbotham said, adding that he has attended the classes.
But Tomczak said she did not believe probation was an option for Higginbotham and gave him four years in prison for each of the DUIs.
Will County State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow said Higginbotham deserves the prison term.
“Glen Higginbotham is a menace to society whose abject failure to learn even the smallest lesson after causing a crash that killed a little girl has landed him back in prison where he belongs,” Glasgow said.
A person who answered the phone at Candace Graham’s grandmother’s Tennessee residence said Graham’s family did not want to comment on Higginbotham’s new sentence.