HOUSTON—Chad Holley, who gained national attention in a highly-publicized case of alleged police brutality in 2010, was sentenced Thursday to serve six months for burglarizing a home with three of his friends last year.
Prosecutors wanted a four-year sentence. Defense attorneys asked for probation.
"You need to grow up," Judge David Mendoza told Holley, according to the Houston Chronicle. "The people of Harris County are tired of burglars."
Holley and his friends, Donald Wesley Toran, Paulus Ramone Jackson and Alexander O’Neal Babbs, were arrested last year in June after they broke into a home one afternoon in northwest Harris County. Neighbors called police after seeing the four loading up a homeowner’s goods. When officers chased the suspects down, the community was stunned to find out Holley was involved.
The teen pleaded guilty for that offense on January 9, 2013 and his sentencing date was set for March 14. But when he arrived at the Harris County courthouse to hear his judgment, he was taken into custody for something totally different.
What flew under many people’s radars is the fact that Holley got in trouble with the law just a few months before committing the burglary act.
He was caught trespassing at Cypress Falls High School on January 18, 2012, according to Harris County records. He was convicted on March 2 of trespassing on school property and ordered to pay fines.
But more than a year later, Holley still had an outstanding balance of $187 on the trespassing charge and a Precinct 5 judge issued the warrant for his arrest. Before he could hear his punishment for the June 2012 burglary offense, he was hauled off to jail. When he returned to court on April 4, he finally learned his fate. In addition to his six-month prison sentence, he was given seven years deferred adjudication. He was the last one to be sentenced.
His accomplices had already learned their punishments for their roles.
In December 2012, Toran and Jackson received seven years deferred adjudication. On March 28, Babbs also received seven years deferred adjudication, in addition to a 60-day jail sentence.
Holley was thrust into the national spotlight after video surfaced of him being chased and beaten by Houston police. On that day, March 24, 2010, a 16-year-old Holley was caught burglarizing a business and ran from police.
Surveillance video showed officers chasing him down, beating him and kicking him. The videotaped beating sparked outrage across the nation, and community activist Quanell X led the charge in demanding justice.
Four officers were later fired and charged with official oppression. Andrew Blomberg, the first cop tried in the case, was found not guilty last year. The other officers are still awaiting trial.
Holley was given probation for that burglary.