The Finnisher is finished


GALVESTON – Riku Melartin, 54, was sentenced twice by the county court system last week. In a jury trial, he was found guilty of attempted bribery of a police officer, stemming from a DWI traffic stop in June 2014 in Kemah. The judge sentenced him to 11 years in Texas prison and a $10,000 fine, but he is able to appeal the sentence, according to the Galveston County District Attorney’s office.

He also was found guilty of the DWI charge, pleaded “no contest” and received a 25 day jail sentence for that charge, of which 15 days had been served.

Melartin is best known for his association with the Keating Chevrolet dealership in Crosby, owned by his wife Tina Jou. He made a series of TV commercials showing him holding a gun and nicknaming him “The Finnisher” a reference to his Finnish heritage and his actions in stopping an armed robbery in his neighborhood in Bellaire.

However it was at that dealership that he allegedly sexually assaulted an underage girl who was working there. He has been charged with 3 counts of assault of a minor, but that trial has not been heard. He had been released on bail on those charges.

In the bribery trial, prosecutors showed dashcam video from a Kemah police cruiser, allegedly showing Melartin attempting 3 times to bribe the officer with money in exchange for releasing him. The trial by jury was held in Galveston’s #405 Judicial Criminal Court, with Judge Michelle Slaughter presiding. The judgement was rendered on August 1, 2016 and the sentence was to begin immediately.