By Bill Finley
Jockey Ken Shino, who won 2,542 races during a career that began in 1987, has been sentenced to six years in prison after a jury found that he struck and injured a pedestrian in Hot Springs, Arkansas in 2021 and then left the scene of the accident.
According to the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record, the jury deliberated for about an hour before finding Shino, 56, who listed Des Moines, Iowa as his address, guilty of leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury or death, and deliberated for another hour before recommending the maximum sentence of six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The incident took place on Feb. 14, 2021. Shino turned himself in to Hot Springs police on Dec. 7, 2021 after a warrant had been issued for his arrest. He was released later that same day on a $10,000 bond and pleaded not guilty to the charge on April 18, 2022.
According to the Sentinel-Record, Shino's attorney filed a motion to dismiss, arguing the victim “was intoxicated with a blood alcohol level of .30 and a presumptive positive test for cannabinoids upon drug testing performed at the hospital.” The motion also noted another vehicle was possibly the one that hit the victim based on one of the 911 calls.
Deputy Prosecutor Brock Price told the paper that Shino never made any statement to police after his arrest and did not testify at trial. Price said that his defense was basically that “while it's his truck in the video and he was driving, he did not hit the victim, but the video made it clear he did.”
Police later found a vehicle matching the one caught on video showing the accident in a public parking lot. Shino was identified as the owner of the truck and detectives were also able to determine from the video that he was the person driving the truck at the time of the accident.
As far as the victim's condition, Price told the Sentinel-Record, “He's good; he had skull and facial fractures, intracranial hemorrhaging, and some contusions and abrasions, but he healed up. He says he still has some lingering pain and back spasms, though.”
Shino last rode in 2016. In 2000, he set a record-winning seven straight races on a card at Fonner Park. He had eight wins total on the day. In 2020, he was inducted into the Nebraska Thoroughbred Racing Hall of fame.