Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Judge refuses to let Hulk Hogan's son off probation early, but probably will next year

Nick Bollea, 21, appears in court Friday. He flew in from California for the hearing. 

Curtis Krueger | Times

Nick Bollea, 21, appears in court Friday. He flew in from California for the hearing. 

A judge refused to release Nick Bollea early from his five-year probation sentence for reckless driving, but said he probably would grant the request less than a year from now.

Bollea, son of professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, received widespread publicity after a 2007 accident in which he crashed his Toyota Supra into a palm tree during a street race in Clearwater. John Graziano, Bollea's friend and passenger, suffered severe brain injuries.

Bollea in 2008 pleaded no contest to reckless driving with serious bodily injury, and judgment was withheld, meaning he would not be a felon if he successfully completed all of the terms of his sentence.

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Philip Federico sentenced him at the time to eight months in the Pinellas County Jail, plus five years of probation, 500 hours of community service and court costs.

He also said that Bollea's driver's license should be revoked for three years.

But judges often release defendants early from probation if they have served more than half of their term, remained crime-free and satisfied other requirements of their sentence.

That's the type of request Bollea made on Friday through his attorney, Kevin Hayslett.

Bollea, now 21, flew in from California for the hearing. So did an official of the National Wave, a charity Bollea has volunteered with. Bollea has completed more than 600 hours of community service and has paid the court costs, Hayslett said.

But Assistant State Attorney Scott Rosenwasser objected. Bollea got his driver's license in California about a year and a half after the accident, which allowed him to drive despite his Florida record. While this did not technically violate the terms of his probation, Rosenwasser said it showed that Bollea "really didn't honor the spirit of his probation."

Hayslett said Bollea did not apply for a "hardship license" in Florida, even though he could have, and got the California driver's license only so that he could go to and from work and also visit his mother.

Federico on Friday said Bollea had not formally violated the terms of his probation, but he said the prosecutor had a point.

"I'm not sure that's entirely within the spirit of what was intended," Federico said.

If Bollea had waited a full three years to drive, "I probably would be granting the motion for early termination," he said. But Federico said he would be inclined to grant a similar motion when Bollea has successfully completed four full years of probation, or 80 percent of his term.

After the hearing, Hayslett said he was pleased that Federico appeared ready to grant an early release from probation, even if it was not as early as his client had requested. Bollea declined to comment.

Judge refuses to let Hulk Hogan's son off probation early, but probably will next year 09/09/11 [Last modified: Friday, September 9, 2011 10:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Joss Whedon's ex-wife accuses him of cheating, being 'hypocrite preaching feminist ideals'

    Celebrities

    Joss Whedon made his name directing cult television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and big-budget action movies, which often featured women in empowering roles. Many applauded him for being a champion of women, a feminist in an industry accused of misogyny and sexism.

    Joss Whedon at the screening of "Much Ado About Nothing" in 2014. Whedon's ex-wife Kai Cole alleged in an essay published by The Wrap on Sunday that Whedon had multiple affairs during their 16-year marriage. (Associated Press)
  2. Pasco school's parents, principal seek compromise on behavior plan

    Blogs

    Leaders of a Pasco County elementary school that has come under criticism for its new behavior plan have offered an alternative model that sticks to its goals while also better considering younger children who might not understand the original terminology.

    This is the original chart that upset parents with wording such as "anarchy" and "conform to peer pressure" without any context.
  3. Jon Gruden, Rex Ryan meet with Jameis Winston on 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    One of the interesting guest stars on HBO's "Hard Knocks", which covers every minute of the Bucs' training camp and preseason, has been Jon Gruden. The legendary former Tampa Bay coach has popped up from time …

    In a teaser clip from episode 3 of "Hard Knocks", Jon Gruden and fellow former coach Rex Ryan meet with Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston to discuss his past and future in the NFL. [HBO/NFL FILMS]
  4. German police seize thousands of 'Trump' ecstasy tablets

    National

    BERLIN — German police say they have seized thousands of tablets of the party drug ecstasy in the shape of Donald Trump's head, a haul with an estimated street value of 39,000 euros ($45,900.)

    This undated  picture provided by Polizeiinspektion Osnabrueck police shows an ecstasy pill. German police say they have seized thousands of ecstasy pills in the shape of President Donald Trump's head, a haul  with an estimated street value of 39,000 euros ($45,900). Police in Osnabrueck, in northwestern Germany, say they found the drugs during a check Saturday evening on an Austrian-registered car on the A30 highway. [Police Osnabrueck via AP]
  5. Bucs bring back long snapper Andrew DePaola to compete

    Bucs

    Just 12 days before the NFL makes its final cuts, the Bucs have added another position battle, signing back long snapper Andrew DePaola to compete with veteran Garrison Sanborn.

    Andrew DePaola is making an impressive recovery from the torn ACL he suffered in last year's season finale against Carolina in January.  [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]