Advertisement
  1. News

Judge grants early probation release for Hulk Hogan's son

Published May 5, 2012

LARGO — Nicholas Bollea, son of professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, was granted early release from the five-year probation sentence that resulted from a 2007 accident that severely injured his friend John Graziano.

Bollea did not attend the court hearing on Friday morning, but spoke by telephone to attorney Kevin Hayslett just afterward.

Hayslett said Bollea was "elated to be off probation," but that "John Graziano continues to be in his thoughts."

Bollea's attorney said his client had worked hard at performing 600 hours of community service and has stayed free of trouble, living his life "under the radar and out of TMZ's crosshairs."

Hayslett said he has known Bollea since before the accident, and can see that he has done a lot of maturing since then.

During the hearing, Assistant State Attorney Scott Rosenwasser objected to letting Bollea, 21, out of the probation sentence after having served roughly 80 percent of it.

But Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Philip Federico said defendants typically are released from probation after half of their sentence as long as they have completed all their requirements.

Federico said he is known as being one of the toughest judges on probation violators. But in this case, he said he could not see a reason to depart from the usual court system practice.

"If I don't grant it now, I would be treating him differently from everybody else," Federico said.

Asked for a reaction, George Tragos, the lawyer for John Graziano's mother, said, "As her attorney, I am stating that it is typical of the Bollea family to plan something like this around one of the worst tragedies of Debra Graziano's life, the death of her son Mike."

Debra's younger son, Michael Graziano, 23, died in a separate car crash last month. He was a passenger in a Volvo that crashed into the back of a dump truck at 3 a.m. April 3 at Ulmerton Road and 66th Street.

Five years earlier, Debra's older son, John, was riding in a car with Bollea when it jumped a curb and plowed into a palm tree. Graziano was not wearing a seat belt.

Bollea was seen racing against a Dodge Viper moments before the crash.

Graziano was left in a minimally conscious state. He spent two years receiving treatment at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa before he was released to his family in 2009.

Bollea pleaded no contest in 2008 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.

The sentence included eight months in the Pinellas County Jail plus five years of probation, 500 hours of community service and court costs. Federico also said Bollea's driver's license should be revoked for three years.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Atlantic tropical cyclones and disturbances, as of 11 a.m. Thursday. National Hurricane Center
    It is projected to pass north of Puerto Rico on Saturday and east of the southeastern Bahamas on Sunday.
  2. Police investigators say they believe the man has a history of mental of illness. Photo from video/10News WTSP
    Firefighters initially tried to climb after him, but the man just climbed higher.
  3. The Tampa City Council was told Thursday that it had little power to prevent a medical marijuana cultivation,  processing and dispensary approved for East Tampa. ANDREW SELSKY  |  AP
    Trulieve plans to open a facility near a recovery center. State preemption prevents the city from taking action.
  4. Statements made online that threaten physical harm, whether seriously intended or not, can have devastating consequences. The “It’s No Joke” awareness campaign seeks to educate youth and parents that even threats made online. Florida Department of Juvenile Justice/Facebook
    The arrests came after other students told deputies they’d been told they were on a “safe” list.
  5. In this Wednesday morning Sept. 18, 2019 photo, Detention Cpl. Shaguanta Scott, left and Detention Deputy Darryl Keaton, right, escort Michael W. Jones Jr. back to the Marion County Sheriff's Office in Ocala, Fla. Jones, suspected of killing his wife and four children and driving their bodies into Georgia, was returned to Florida to face murder charges. (Doug Engle/Star-Banner via AP)
    Investigators found the decomposed bodies of the children in woods nearby.
  6. A team of a dozen victims' rights attorneys on Wednesday filed the third lawsuit in three months against the Church of Scientology and its leader David Miscavige. The complaint states a woman was repeatedly sexually abused as a child in Scientology's care and that church policy enabled the abuse. PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU  |  AFP/Getty Images
    The third lawsuit filed against Scientology and leader David Miscavige in three months accuses the church of sexual battery, racketeering and conspiracy
  7. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in San Diego, Calif. EVAN VUCCI  |  AP
    The lawsuit opens a new legal front in Trump’s long-running fight to prevent his tax returns from becoming public.
  8. Surveillance video shows suspects in an attempted robbery-turned murder at a Bradenton smoke shop. Manatee County Sheriff's Office
    One suspect is in custody and two others are wanted in connection with the Wednesday armed robbery turned murder.
  9. Jessica LaBouve, a penetration tester for cybersecurity company A-LIGN, poses for a portrait in the A-LIGN office on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019 in Tampa. Companies hire A-LIGN to figure out where their digital security weak spots are, and LaBouve is one of the "benevolent hackers" that finds them. ALLIE GOULDING  |  Times
    Jessica LaBouve of A-Lign works with companies to make their applications and platforms more secure.
  10. Stephen A. Schwarzman, CEO of the Blackstone Group, speaks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, earlier this year. MARKUS SCHREIBER  |  AP
    The billionaire also talks trade with China in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement