Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hulk's son won't fight charges

Nick Bollea, the son of famous wrestler Hulk Hogan, is expected to make an open plea in court tomorrow for his role in an August car crash that critically injured his passenger.

Bollea, 17, initially pleaded not guilty to a charge of reckless driving with serious bodily injury. But Assistant State Attorney Scott Rosenwasser said he expects Bollea to offer an open plea to the court during a 1: 30 p.m. pre-trial hearing tomorrow. After that, Circuit Judge Philip Federico will hold a sentencing hearing.

Nick Bollea and his mother, Linda, were seen leaving the office of his attorney, J. Kevin Hayslett, around 5 p.m. Hayslett said he was too busy working on the case to speak to reporters.

"We're going to keep rolling," Hayslett said. "We've got a lot of work to do. No comment."

Lawyers for both sides will be able to call witnesses during the sentencing hearing. Rosenwasser said the mother and father of John Graziano, the former Marine who was injured in the crash, will make statements.

"We're just going to tell the judge everything," Rosenwasser said. "The facts will speak for themselves."

Bollea could receive as little as probation or as much as five years in prison, Rosenwasser said. In an open plea, defendants essentially throw themselves on the mercy of the court.

Clearwater-based criminal defense attorney John Trevena, who is not connected with the case, said Bollea's decision is "somewhat unusual and extremely risky."

He said an open plea is a gamble because there is no negotiation between defense attorneys and prosecutors before going in front of the judge.

"You're throwing yourself on the mercy of the court, hoping the judge gives you a minimal sentence but there's no guarantee. You could get the maximum."

Trevena, who has been following the case, said he doesn't expect leniency from the court. He said Bollea's attorneys have "nothing to lose to try to dismantle the case first (before accepting an open plea)."

Bollea was driving a yellow Toyota Supra on Court Street in Clearwater the night of Aug. 26 when he lost control and smashed into a palm tree. Graziano, who wasn't wearing a seatbelt, was seriously injured and has been in a hospital since the crash. Doctors say he may need lifelong care.

Witnesses to the crash say Bollea was racing with the driver of a silver Viper, Danny Jacobs, who was also charged.

The event is already becoming a media circus. Assistants from Hayslett's Belcher Road office passed out Good Humor ice cream bars to the reporters gathered outside. The offerings: vanilla ice cream covered in chocolate or Creamsicles.

Hulk's son won't fight charges 05/08/08 [Last modified: Monday, May 12, 2008 12:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: 'Channel Zero: No-End House' pumps up the prestige horror

    Blogs

    In its second season, Channel Zero cements itself as one of the scariest shows on television.

    Amy Forsyth in Channel Zero: No-End House.
  2. Utilities face barrage of questions as power returns to Tampa Bay

    Energy

    Nearly all of Tampa Bay has electricity again a week after Hurricane Irma shredded the power grid, but elected officials here say the problem is far from solved.

    Duke Energy's Scott Crellin (right) works to cut tree limbs from a power line along S Pinellas Avenue as apprentice lineman Nick Ceccarini looks on Sept. 11, the day after Hurricane Irma struck Florida. [CHRIS URSO  |   Times]
  3. Yep, 2017 hurricane season really is more intense than normal

    Hurricanes

    It was only 25 days ago that Hurricane Harvey made landfall.

    A handout satellite image from Sept. 8, 2017, of, from left, Tropical Storm Katia, Hurricane Irma and Tropical Storm Jose, which would intensify into a hurricane. The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has been unusually active. There have been 13 named storms this year. Only four other seasons since 1995 have had that many by Sept. 18. [NASA/NOAA GOES Project via the New York Times]
  4. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs could run into their nemesis

    Bucs

    Greg Auman finishes wrapping up the Bucs' win against the Chicago Bears and looks ahead to Sunday's game at Minnesota, where Tampa Bay could run into nemesis Case Keenum, in our latest Cannon Fodder …

    Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) sacks Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) during a 2016 game. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  5. How to vamp out for Buffyfest in St. Petersburg

    Music & Concerts

    Who's your favorite superhero? I always answer Buffy.

    Photo illustration RON BORRESEN, Photo by Warner Brothers, Photo by SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
Members of the Florida Bjorkestra rehearse, Monday, 3/13/17, at the Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg for their upcoming concert. In the foreground is percussionist Joe Coyle.

Sarah Michelle Gellar