Brian H. Holloway, of Russellville, fled Wednesday, July 11 from the Logan County Justice Center when bailiffs attempted to give him a portable breath test after smelling alcohol on him.
Holloway was at the Justice Center for his trial on charges of an aggravated DUI from an April 24 arrest. When arrested, Holloway’s blood alcohol content was .171 - over twice the legal limit.
This is the third DUI charge Holloway has received in the past 20 years. The first was in 1992 when he was 32-years-old, one in which claimed the life of baby. He was traveling north on 431 from Adairville to Russellville when he struck a vehicle in the rear that held an Adairville family, resulting in the death of 9-month old Justin Baldwin.
Holloway was arrested again 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.
Despite Holloway running out of the Justice Center Wednesday, his trial went on without him and he was found guilty of aggravated DUI, which carries a sentence of 4 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Holloway has now been charged with Bail Jumping, which is a Class A misdemeanor carrying up to 12 months in jail. He was arrested at his home on July 11 and is currently lodged in the Logan County Detention Center under a $5,000 cash bond.
The family of little Justin Baldwin has expressed how they don’t understand why Holloway keeps driving under the influence after what happened in 1992.
“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, the mother of the child Holloway was found responsible for killing.
County Attorney Joe Ross said he was very pleased with the result in last week’s trial. He was concerned Holloway may be able to get away with the DUI because he was arrested out of the vehicle at a store and there was no direct testimony from anyone that saw him driving the car.
“We were able to offer proof showing that he was behind the wheel in the parking lot attempting to start the car when police arrived and we were also able to offer circumstantial evidence that he was driving,” said Ross. “Though operation of a motor vehicle is satisfied by showing that someone is in physical control of an automobile, the public’s expectations for a DUI are often that the individual must be driving on a roadway.”
Ross was frustrated knowing Holloway’s past and not being able to introduce that aspect knowing there seems to be a pattern of behavior for Holloway that is very dangerous.
“This is an example of a real gap in the system that I noticed after starting my career in Circuit Court in felony trials and then coming to District Court. In trials involving a felony, the jury must determine guilt or innocence separately before the sentence is addressed. If a person is found guilty of a felony, there is a separate final sentencing in which prior convictions can be introduced and “truth in sentencing” testimony is offered. This allows the jury to be better informed of the defendant’s prior record before imposing a sentence. In District Court, unless it is a charge that a second or greater offense enhances, there is no separate sentencing phase where the Commonwealth can let the jury see the defendant’s record. This has the effect of keeping important sentencing information from the jurors, making every defendant appear to be a first time offender,” said Ross.
“This is not the first time I have encountered this issue since coming to District Court. I feel that there should be a way that in certain cases, the Commonwealth can petition the Court for a separate sentencing phase in misdemeanor trials. I intend to discuss this issue with other County Attorneys at our upcoming conference to see if we can propose some acceptable legislation to address this issue,” Ross added.
The Baldwin family say they will be watching Holloway’s trial for his latest charge and any charges that may come in the future. Sherri says she wishes he would stop driving when he drinks, before he kills someone else.