Twenty-nine years after killing a man in Round Lake Beach over a bet, Robert Bostic was sentenced Tuesday to 30 years in prison.
The sentence means Bostic, 71, likely will spend the rest of his life behind bars, a point that wasn't lost on Lake County Associate Judge George Bridges.
Even the minimum possible sentence of 20 years "could be a death sentence for you," Bridges told Bostic, who had been living in Tennessee when he was arrested earlier this year and charged with killing Carlton Richmond in June 1982.
Richmond's widow, Victoria Hargis, read a statement in court in which she described how difficult life was for her and her two sons after the murder. One of the sons, who suffered from seizures, later died.
She later spoke to reporters, saying the successful criminal prosecution has given her emotional closure.
"I didn't really expect to feel anything," Hargis said. "But when he was convicted, it really was a relief."
Sue Richmond Yoho, the victim's sister, thought the sentence was fitting.
"We suffered 30 years, he can suffer 30 years," Yoho said.
A jury found Bostic guilty in September of shooting Richmond in the garage that served as a motorcycle club's headquarters and bar.
Richmond had bet $500 that Bostic could not drink an entire bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey in one continuous swallow, authorities said. When Bostic drank up and Richmond didn't back up the bet with cash, Bostic shot him once in the chest.
Richmond's death went unsolved until this past January, when Round Lake Beach police announced they broke the case.
Bostic's attorney, Joseph Salvi, described his client in court as "a good man" and a good father, husband and grandfather.
Bridges said the murder affected two families -- the victim's and Bostic's own. But while Bostic got to spend decades with his family after the killing, Richmond's relatives have been without him since, Bridges said.
Bostic did not speak on his own behalf during Tuesday's sentencing. Outside the courtroom afterward, Salvi said the 30-year-sentence would be "a tough go" for Bostic because of his age.