A tentative trial date of May 12 has been set for State Sen. Bruce Holland, R-Greenwood, who faces a misdemeanor charge of fleeing and charges of careless driving and improper passing related to a high-speed chase through Perry and Yell counties.
However, if found guilty of the charges, the conviction may not jeopardize Holland’s legal ability to remain in office or seek re-election.
On Jan. 24, Perry County Sheriff’s Deputy Ray Byrd and the Ola Police Department stopped Holland after what Byrd said was a more than 20-mile chase with Holland reaching speeds of up to 110 m.p.h.
Holland, driving a 2003 Nissan 350Z, was released by Byrd and the Ola officer when they learned he was a State Senator.
Bill Walters, Holland’s attorney and former State Senator from Greenwood, has filed an entry of appearance in the matter, which waives Holland’s appearance at a Feb. 24 arraignment and sets the trial date for May 12. The trial date is not official, but is tentatively set with the expectation that the Perry County District Court Clerk will soon receive the necessary filing from Walters.
The bench trial will be held in Perry County.
The question has arisen as to whether or not Holland’s crime rises to the level of an "infamous" one. If so, it could lead to his dismissal from office or prohibition to run for re-election.
However, a legal expert suggests that Holland’s crime is not a "crime of dishonesty," which is the basis of an "infamous" crime.
“If his only sin is being convicted of being a bad driver, he’s safe in my opinion,” Fort Smith attorney Brian Meadors explained. “It has to be a crime of dishonesty. While fleeing and reckless driving may be poor judgment, it’s not dishonest.”
You can read more on the subject from our content partner, The City Wire, at this link.