The Miami Herald
David Green, firstname.lastname@example.org
A Miami-Dade jury acquitted two Hialeah patrol officers – the sons of the police chief – on charges they kicked and stomped a man and then filed bogus reports to cover it up.
The jury deliberated roughly nine hours before finding Rolando Bolarios Jr. and Daniel Bolaiios not guilty Tuesday night of charges of battery and official misconduct. The six-person panel deadlocked on two additional misconduct counts against Daniel. When it became clear the two men and four women could not reach a decision, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Scott J. Silverman declared a mistrial on the two remaining counts.
After the verdict, the brothers clasped hands, hugged their weeping parents and fielded embraces from fellow Hialeah officers who packed the courtroom in support.
“It feels great,” Rolando Jr. said afterward. “It’s been three years that have been very taxing on our family. But we showed we have the strength to stick together.”
Their father, Rolando Sr., present in the seat behind them throughout the trial, declined to comment except to say, “Glad it’s over. . . I’m happy as a father.”
The verdict was a disappointment for prosecutors, who spent three years building a case against the pair. Daniel would have faced 16 years in prison if convicted; Rolando Jr. could have spent 11 years behind bars.
The four-week trial featured testimony from more than 20 witnesses, including an investigator from the state attorney’s office, Hialeah police and command staff, crime scene technicians, a television reporter, doctors from the medical examiner’s office and a DNA expert.
But the case really hinged on the testimony of Yoel Pacheco. He accused the Bolarios brothers of taking him to a vacant parking lot and beating him up.
However, during the trial, the 26-year-old onetime welder appeared at times unsure of his version of events when subject to a blistering cross-examination by defense attorneys Sam Rabin and Michael R. Band.
Pacheco gave erroneous details, such as how long after the alleged beating he was examined by a doctor. “The evidence ought to be unimpeachable, unassailable,” said Band, who represented Daniel. “In this case, it wasn’t.”