The Michigan parole board decided to grant parole to a former Inkster police officer serving time in prison for beating motorist Floyd Dent as long as he completes a behavioral therapy program, a prison official said.
William Melendez, 48, had an interview with the parole board earlier this month, Michigan Department of Corrections spokeswoman Holly Kramer said. She didn't have an exact release date for Melendez but said he will at least serve his minimum sentence, which is 13 months.
“He’s not being granted any kind of early release," she said.
The MDOC website lists his earliest release date as Dec. 15.
► Black and blue: Officers talk about being African American — and cops
“We’ll be continuing to monitor his performance in the program and in prison," Kramer said. "And that’s going to ultimately determine whether he goes back into the community on supervision."
A Wayne County jury found Melendez guilty of the two felonies on Nov. 19, and he has been behind bars since that day.
He was sentenced to 13 months to 10 years in prison for misconduct in office and assault with intent to do great bodily harm convictions. Melendez punched Dent 16 times during a January 2015 traffic stop captured on dashcam video.
That video was repeatedly played for jurors during his trial last year in Detroit.
Wayne County Circuit Judge Vonda Evans called the beating "disgusting" and told Melendez he knew better during his sentencing. She went under the guidelines and sentenced the former cop to less time than prosecutors asked for and more time than the defense sought.
Dent, a longtime Ford worker driving without a license the night of his arrest, was hospitalized for injuries received during the traffic stop.
During the trial, prosecutors argued Melendez used excessive force, but the defense maintained the use of force was reasonable.
Dent reached a $1.37-million settlement with Inkster.