A dade jury acquitted former Miami Beach officer Derick Kulian of DUI- serious bodily injury. However, the jury found Kulian guilty of Reckless Driving serious bodily injury, a third degree felony.
In a move we greatly disapprove of, Judge Tinkler-Mendez took Officer Kulian into custody after the verdict.
He was going to run?
While we greatly respect Judge Tinkler-Mendez, this business of immediately incarcerating defendants after a verdict is just another part of the trial tax that prosecutors seek and judges impose. Motions for new trial, motion for bond pending appeal, and a possible non-prison sentence are all reasons why Mr. Kulian should not have been immediately taken into custody. It's as if the prosecution cannot wait to start punishing a defendant, who based on the results, apparently had good reason to take the case to trial.
The Herald's David Ovalle has the coverage here, including ASA David Gilbert's criticism of Miami Beach cops who tried to protect their own. Say what you want about the Dade SAO, but don't accuse them of ever buckling under to police pressure. This was a courageous prosecution in the face of less than stellar police work designed to protect one of their own.
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