A state lawmaker from Peoria is the stepmother of a murder victim. State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria) made a speech on the House floor after the killer of Derrick Booth, Jr., 22, was sentenced to fifty years in prison, as she says the nightmare has made her think about how she does her job. “I just wanted to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, (who) reached out and really, overwhelmingly supported myself and my entire family. Oftentimes, I'd have a card in my office. Obviously, when you have a loved one that's murdered, and you go through a murder trial, you have grief, but that grief is put on hold” during the trial.
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“When D.J. was murdered last year, I was nine months pregnant,” “and D.J. was murdered on the same day that my colleagues came together to throw me a baby shower.”
Gordon-Booth, calling the people who fingered the killer “heroes,” says she is working with the attorney general's office to create a program to make it easier for people to talk to police about crime – perhaps they need, say, $200 to make a deposit on a new apartment so they can move out.
Gordon-Booth says she especially wanted to point out that “I, personally, don't know or think that there's any program … that would have saved D.J.'s life. I don't know what would have been different.”
She says D.J. and the killer met at a party and that her stepson was killed over ten dollars.
And nobody, she says, was more excited over the new baby – now almost a year old – than D.J.