Republican Sen. Bruce “Fireball” Holland of Greenwood had his day in Perry County District Court today on charges he’d tried to evade Sheriff’s Deputy Ray Byrd in a 20-mile chase at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. He was driving a Nissan 350Z.
Verdict from District Judge Elizabeth Wise: Guilty on all three misdemeanor counts he faced. He was sentenced to 400 hours of community service and assessed $890 in fines and costs. (He apparently can’t count his legislative service; the judge said it must be service to Perry County within 12 months.) Holland’s attorney Bill Walters said Holland would appeal and posted $890 as an appeal bond.
Walters injected the possibility of Holland taking a polygraph during the testimony. The prosecution called this a stunt since such a test is inadmissible as evidence.
He was charged with fleeing, careless driving and improper passing. In TV and newspaper interviews at the time, he apologized for speeding through two counties. Deputy Byrd didn’t find the apology sufficient from a sitting lawmaker. Hard to figure how Fireball will appeal the speeding conviction particularly, having essentially admitted it in his apologies. He continued to insist Thursday he wasn’t aware he was being pursued by law officers.