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Prison sentence for man who drove drunk, killed 16-year-old skateboarder

The family of Dychaun Chew is urging state lawmakers to create stiffer laws for repeat drunk drivers who kill.

MINNEAPOLIS — Dychaun Chew was just 16 — a sophomore from South High who loved skateboarding and cooking — with dreams of one day becoming a chef.

"He loved to cook," said Dychaun's mom, Dynesea, who shared an emotional victim impact statement in court, while the man responsible for her son's death looked down.

"I'm heartbroken that I don't get to see how he would have finished his remaining high school years, or prom days and nights; high school and college graduation. How he would have soared," Dynesea Chew said.

Bobby Brookins pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide. His blood alcohol was twice the legal limit when he drove drunk, ran a stop sign, and hit and killed Dychaun, who was riding home last summer on his skateboard.

KARE 11 Investigates looked into Brookins' past and found he'd been arrested 10 different times after his license had been revoked or suspended in 2008.

Brookins received numerous breaks in court including just 30 days in jail for his second DWI in 2019. 

He was on probation — driving without a license at 55 mph in a 20 mph zone — when he killed Dychaun.

"He got into his car drunk and squealed his tires and took off at a dangerous speed," said Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Peter Johnson. "He has already been given any leniency he is due in this case."

Brookins apologized.

"I'm sorry. I can't say nothing else but I'm sorry," he said.

And Judge Toddrick Barnette gave the highest prison term he could under the plea agreement and sentencing guidelines — four years and nine months in prison.

Dychaun's family called it "a little bit of justice," and said they are happy the court process is over. However, they plan to contact Minnesota state lawmakers to push for harsher penalties for repeat offenders like Brookins.

"Until that is changed, we won't be the last family sitting here saying, 'What? Five years?' So that's the fight," said Dedrick Willis, Dychaun's uncle.

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