September 23, 2000

Defendant Pleads guilty to injuring police officer

By Diana Baldwin
Staff Writer

"I want his life to change just as much as mine has," former Bethnay police officer Timothy McCarthey said Friday after the man who ran over him and caused his leg to be amputated pleaded guilty in Oklahoma County District Court. "Once he gets out of prison, he's a 42-year-old ex-con with no work experience," McCarthey said. "He's a convicted felon, and no one is really going to hire him for a good job. The whole rest of his life is affected by this. So that is fine. In a surprise move this week, Jason Michael Hollingsworth, 22, Yukon, offered to plead guilty and spend 20 years in prison for running down McCarthey as Hollingsworth tried to elude police July 3, 1999, during Bethany's Fourth of July Fun Festival. McCarthey lost his left leg just above the knee, and his left arm was broken in two places. Assistant District Attorney Gary Ackley was ready to go to trial Monday. The prosecutor said he never offered Hollingsworth an opportunity to plead to the series of misdemeanor and felony charges. When asked by prosecutors, McCarthey quickly accepted Hollingsworth's deal because he was dreading the trial and feared whether he would control his anger in the same room with his assailant. "There is no telling how I would react," McCarthey, 27, said. "I didn't want to be in that situation. I'm relieved I don't have to go through the whole trial." McCarthey would have liked a longer prison term for Hollingsworth, but the former officer said he realizes no one knows what juries might do. District Judge Susan Caswell accepted the plea but ordered a presentence investigation on the defendant. She set sentencing for Oct. 23. As part of the agreement, Hollingsworth pleaded guilty to the felony counts of assault and battery with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, maiming and leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury. Under the plea agreement, he will be given 30 years in prison on the felony convictions, with 10 years of that suspended. Hollingsworth also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of attempting to elude police officer, reckless driving, failure to stop at a roadblock, driving with a revoked license and failure to carry valid insurance security verification. In an unrelated case, he also pleaded guilty to hitting his girlfriend in the face, which carried six months in the plea agreement. The Bethany First National Bank is handling a donation fund for McCarthey's medical expenses.