Sentencing delayed for ex-cop found guilty of beating driver

April 25, 2011 9:46:50 AM PDT
The former police officer convicted of convicted of battery in the beating of a driver in Streamwood had his sentencing delayed Monday morning.

Former Streamwood Police Officer James Mandarino was found guilty of beating a driver in Streamwood. Sentencing was scheduled for Monday, but that has now been put off.

Although sentencing was postponed Monday, Mandarino could still face a five-year prison sentence for beating a motorist.

The delay comes after a judge granted Mandarino's attorneys a continuance to review court transcripts, but also to possibly a file motion for a new trial.

The 42-year-old former suburban cop left court Monday morning without commenting about what happened in court.

In court, though, the defense asked for and was granted a continuance. The state did not object.

Mandarino was a 15-year veteran of the Streamwood Police Department and was fired a few months after the incident, which was captured on a video camera mounted on the dashboard of his squad car.

He testified in court that he feared for his safety when he beat Ronald Bell, a motorist he had pulled over for a traffic stop. Mandarino also used a stun gun on Bell's passenger.

During the trial, prosecutors said Mandarino used excessive force. Monday morning, his attorneys said that he just snapped. They used letters of support in hopes of convincing the court to be lenient.

"Basically, the letters are from people who know what type a police officer he was, what type of man he is. So I think they will be very helpful in giving the state's attorney and the judge a pretty clear understanding of what kind of person James Mandarino is," said Mandarino's attorney Rick Beuke.

Lawyers for Mandarino say there were about 80 letters, they did not solicit them, and they were sent directly to the judge. They are hoping for a new trial possibly based on false testimony by those individuals who also said they were beaten by Mandarino.

Both Bell and his passenger have filed a lawsuit against the Village of Streamwood.

Mandarino will be back in court May 31.

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