Living through the tragedy of loosing your child is something that you live with on a daily basis for the rest of your life, but having to watch the person who is responsible for your child’s death make the same mistake over and over again that caused it is frightening beyond words.
“How many times is he going to get away with this? How many times is it going to take before what happened to my child happens again to someone else?” said Sherri Davenport Baldwin, a mother who is having to do just that, witness the man who is responsible for killing her child make the same mistakes.
Baldwin is the mother of Justin Baldwin, a nine month old, who lost his life after a drunk driver hit the car she and her family were riding in 20 years ago on Nashville Road.
“It was a day I will never forget, it’s the day I lost my baby and almost lost my mother, sister and other son. Now I have to relive the incident every time I find out he is out there on the roads doing it all over again. You would think he would never get behind the wheel after drinking knowing what his actions caused once before. I don’t understand why he doesn’t get help before it’s too late,” said Baldwin.
In 1992 Brian H. Holloway, then 32, was traveling north on 431 from Adairville to Russellville when he struck a vehicle which held Baldwin, her 9-month old son Justin, her 2-year-old son Phillip, her 12-year-old sister Kelly and her mother Jean Davenport.
Baldwin says they were stopped waiting for a car to turn and all of a sudden they heard a loud noise and then spinning and fire. Baldwin said the car had burst into flames after being hit from the rear by Holloway. Baldwin’s mother managed to pull her family out of the flames, receiving second and third degree burns all over her body while doing it. Her son; however, could not be saved and was found by emergency personnel unrecognizable from his burns, laying several feet from the car after he was thrown from the vehicle.
Holloway, now 51, served 10 years of a 20 year sentence for murdering ninth month old Justin Baldwin in that fiery crash and was arrested again on April 24, 2012, for another DUI.
Holloway was also arrested for DUI in 2009 after police stopped him at a checkpoint, smelled alcohol and he performed poorly on a standardized field sobriety test (SFST). A preliminary breath test (PBT) at that time of his stop showed his blood alcohol content at .093 and .096; however, a jury found him not guilty due to another breathalyzer test given to him at the detention center later showing his blood alcohol levels at .o76. According to Kentucky law anything below .08 is not considered legally intoxicated and the field PBT cannot be used in a court of law against an individual, it is only used as an investigative tool.
“I don’t understand why he isn’t still under parole and why he wouldn’t go back to prison for violating it. He was sentenced to 20 years in 1993 and 20 years isn’t up until 2013,” said Baldwin.
On April 24, the most recent arrest, Holloway’s blood alcohol content was .171, over twice the legal limit and considered an aggravated DUI. According to KRS 189A.010(11) additional penalties can be imposed when “aggravating circumstances” are present. These circumstances include operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more.
If aggravating circumstances are present, minimum periods of jail time are doubled, and service of that minimum period becomes mandatory, with no possibility of an early release. The aggravated charge, if convicted, is considered a class B misdemeanor that carries a license suspension of between 30-120 days, a fine between $200-$500 and incarceration of 48 hours to 30 days for a first offence, which this would be for Holloway if convicted. His prior conviction of murder, two counts of first degree assault and five counts of first degree wanton endangerment in 1993 cannot be used against him.
When Baldwin saw Holloway’s name in the jail report in the newspaper she said it made her sick.
“I don’t think the man should have ever been able to drive a vehicle again after the last time,” said Baldwin. “I’m frustrated beyond belief that there is nothing I will be able to do. I feel helpless,” Baldwin added.
Holloway is to be arraigned May 16 at the Logan County Justice Center. Baldwin says she will be there sitting on the front row.