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Cop appeals 1998 DWI conviction

Robert Bolson, 37, a 15-year veteran of the force, was sentenced at the end of August by State Supreme Court Justice Seymour Rotker to 90 days of house arrest, three years of probation and community service for driving while intoxicated in an accident that killed a 62-year-old man from Queens Village two years ago.

But Bolson's sentence was stayed by Justice Cornelius O'Brien of the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court while he reviews the case. At a non-jury trial in June the detective was found guilty of common-law driving while intoxicated, which means that someone smelled alcohol on his breath or he appeared to have been drinking, but it was not proven through chemical analysis.

Officer George Jensen, a Police Department spokesman, said Bolson would remain on modified duty until the appeal process was completed and his status determined.

"I think that the Appellate Division in staying the sentence see that Mr. Bolson has a meritorious argument," said Marvyn Kornberg, Bolson's lawyer. "It is my opinion that there is the likelihood that he will prevail."

Bolson was cleared of manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, assault, vehicular assault and criminally negligent homicide in the car accident, which killed Frederico Hurtado, on April 26, 1998.

The off-duty Bolson broadsided Hurtado, who was returning home with his wife Hilde, at 222nd Street and 93rd Avenue. Hurtado's wife was critically injured in the crash.

At the trial, Rotker decided Bolson was not guilty of the serious charges of vehicular manslaughter because it could not be proven that there was a cause and effect relationship between Bolson's drinking and the way he operated his car.

Rotker sentenced Bolson to 90 days of house arrest wearing an electronic bracelet, 350 hours of community service to be served in a hospital's emergency room, suspension of his driver's license for six months and attending a DWI program.

At the time of the sentencing, Kornberg said Bolson was never given a Breathalyzer test at the scene of the accident, but was given a blood test later at North Shore University Hospital. He said the hospital took four vials of blood, two of which tested positive for alcohol. The other two came back negative, he said.

At the trial an expert witness said Hurtado's car ran a stop sign, one of the causes of the accident, published reports said. Bolson and his wife have filed a $1 million claim against Hurtado's estate.

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