by Max Brantley
He had earlier been convicted in district court, but appealed to Circuit Court. Today, he pleaded no contest to fleeing, careless driving and improper passing and agreed to the $890 in fines he'd already paid and 80 hours in community service, where he'd been given 400 hours in district court. Holland also apologized to the judge for his actions.
With a Senate primary race coming, Holland did well to take the apologetic route. He also faced a prosecutor's vow, if Holland persisted in claiming innocence, to seek a jury trial and the more serious punishment sometimes handed down to people who flee the law at 110 mph in that jurisdiction — a little jail time.
Prosecutor Larry Jegley said his office agreed to today's sentence. He said the district court judge had said after the sentence was entered that she'd miscalculated and given Holland 10 weeks, rather than 10 days of community service. It was too late for her to alter the sentence, but Jegley said out of fairness that his office was willing to accept that change at the circuit court level and accept a no-contest plea with an apology. "He did the right thing," Jegley said of Holland's plea.