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Billy Lane will not go to trial

(Viera, Florida) The Brevard County court room was at maximum capacity for the 9:00 am calendar call where it was announced that only the first 60 cases on the docket would be called today. Billy Lane sat among the many people waiting to hear if their case would be set for trial as a large group of attorneys waited for Judge Burger to enter the court room. Defense attorney Gregory Eisenmenger signed in just moments before the court was called to order, said hello to Billy, and then waited for his client’s name to be called.

Recently elected to the chair, Judge Robert Burger had inherited a massive overflow of lingering cases left undecided by previous Judge Meryl Allawas. Though Judge Burger made no formal announcement, he appeared determined to clear up the case load and stood firm on keeping a solid schedule to clear the docket of the older cases. As each case was called he explained to the parties that they needed to ready their case without any further postponement.

Billy Lane had been facing the single felony charge of DUI Manslaughter for over two years up until last month when a additional charge of vehicular homicide was filed. When the Judge called for the case of the State of Florida verses William Lane,  defense  attorney Eisenmenger stepped forward and made a surprise statement that he had resolved the case with the Sate and they were working on a plea. State Attorney Tom Brown stepped forward to acknowledge the plea bargain, but then both attorneys approached the bench and talked with the Judge for about 2 minutes.

It was not stated for the record what type of agreement had been made and there was no mention of when an official announcement might be heard. The next date posted for a hearing is on February 9th, but that date may be cancelled until the two parties reach their final agreement. I spoke with Byron Morelock by telephone and he confirmed that he would be involved in the agreement, but he was not able to give me any more specifics on dates or times either. He seemed to be relieved that the case is finally growing to an end, but stated that no mater the final outcome it will remain a sad fact that nobody wins in a case of this nature. Byron Morelock is the brother of  Gerald Morelock who was the victim in this case. Gerald Morelock was killed back in September of 2006 when the Dodge pickup Billy Lane was driving struck him head on. Lane showed no emotion as the announcement was made and appears to have accepted the fact that he will not have to stand trial for the the two charges now that arrangements are being made that will decide his final fate in this case. While it was said that Lane could receive as much as 15 years in prison if convicted of either charge, the State Attorney had previously stated that a plea bargain would not be accepted for anything less than 10 years. Still, even after the announcement today, the exact amount of time still remains unknown.

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  • 8 Responses to “Billy Lane will not go to trial”

    1. Neil Says:

      I do so hope that BL gets time. Gerry and I were long time friends, since the early 1970′s. We last spoke on the phone in July 2006, around Gerry’s 56th birthday. He would call me when he bought a new guitar. I called him when I got my Gretsch and my electric sitar.

    2. Bill Says:

      I was reading somewhere last Friday (April 3, 2009) that Billy Lane’s plea date is supposed to be April 7th, 2009…..I guess we’ll see if that pans out.

    3. Tony Says:

      Being late in the day on labor day in south Melbourne Beach, I’d imagine most of the people on the road had downed a few. If it wasn’t Billy, it would have been the next car passing by. Come on — driving drunk on a moped on a 55mph 2 lane road is a form of suicide, especially on labor day.

      There is no question it is a tragedy and horrible outcome for both people — but I think there are even more elderly people driving around Florida with high medication levels that are More or As dangerous as a DUI driver. There are many many fatalities from the blue-hair q-tips and they aren’t being arraigned like a horse thief. The bad thing is that the q-tip DWTM (taking meds) is an increasing trend. The elderly should be forced to sell their cars and take taxis around — that would help increase jobs locally and drastically improve the safety of our roads in America. The proceeds from a car sale would buy a lot of taxi rides.

    4. Neil Sheaffer Says:

      Tony -
      You have a few facts wrong. Gerry was riding a Yamaha motor scooter, not a moped. Lane was driving a full sized pick-up truck. Lane chose to cross double yellow lines to pass other cars. Lane had twice the legal limit for alcohol. Gerry was at the legal limit.
      Elderly people aren’t involved with this.
      My best friend of over 30 years is dead. I won’t be able to discuss Neil Young’s new archival release with him.
      Lane deserves jail time.

    5. Sam Says:

      Before any of you get to carried away with Billy Lane & what he should or shouldn’t get……….

      Let’s all just keep in mind now, NFL Receiver Donte Stallworth. He did the very same thing. While he did not kill someone on a scooter, so you all can scream he killed a brother, he did kill someone while he was driving drunk.

      He also was in Florida when this happened. He also plead down from DUI Manslaughter to Vehicular Manslaughter.

      He got 30 DAYS…THIRTY DAYS in jail.

      So there you go. This is your Florida law. Precident has now been set, so if Billy does 1 month, none of you can bitch.

      Like someone on an NFL forum said, good thing he didn’t run over one of Micheal Vick’s dogs because then he’d be sitting for years.

      I am sure once the sentencing happens, Billy will speak & do the accepting of this everyone is so mad he hasn’t done already.

      I will be pissed now if he gets more then 30 days because I’m tired of Pro Athletes getting let off of crimes. Besides this one, St. Louis Rams Leonard Little was drunk & killed a woman. He got 2 weeks in jail & then 5 years probation. There was also the little fact that the conviction & felony got erased from his record after his probation was up. The day after he was done with probation, he was arrested for Drunk Driving & they couldn’t use his past charge agaist him because it was erased from his record.

      Lane’s lawyer needs to bring this case to court with him for the sentencing.

      Here’s Stallworth’s story

      “MIAMI — Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth took full responsibility for killing a pedestrian while driving drunk in Florida and began serving a 30-day jail sentence Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter.

      Stallworth also reached a confidential financial settlement to avoid a potential lawsuit from the family of 59-year-old Mario Reyes, according to Stallworth’s attorney, Christopher Lyons. Reyes was struck and killed March 14 by Stallworth, who was driving his black 2005 Bentley after a night drinking at a swanky hotel bar.

      A source told ESPN’s Kelly Naqi that while the financial terms of the settlement with the family have not been disclosed, Stallworth was covered by two insurance policies: a car insurance policy and a $5 million umbrella policy.

      Stallworth, 28, told Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Dennis Murphy that he hopes to get involved in drunken-driving education programs.

      “I accept full responsibility for this horrible tragedy,” said Stallworth, who was accompanied at the hearing by his parents, siblings and other supporters. “I will bear this burden for the rest of my life.”

      Donte’ Stallworth, accompanied by his lawyer, Christopher Lyons, has a lifetime suspension from holding a driver’s license, and must serve two years’ house arrest and eight years on probation.

      Stallworth faced 15 years in prison. According to the plea agreement, Stallworth needs to serve only 24 days of his 30-day sentence. Murphy agreed to give Stallworth credit for the one day he already served, April 2, which was the day of his arrest and booking. In addition, Stallworth received an additional five days of credit because of a Florida state statute stating anyone who is sentenced to 30 days (besides civil, contempt, drug treatment and house arrest cases) automatically gets five days’ credit time served for every 30 days, spokesperson Janelle Hall of the Miami Dade County Corrections Department told Naqi.

      After his release from jail, Stallworth must serve two years of house arrest and spend eight years on probation.

      Lyons said the plea agreement will allow Stallworth to resume his football career.

      The Akron Beacon Journal reported that according to an NFL source, commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to discipline Stallworth before the Browns start training camp July 31.

      NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league is reviewing the matter for possible disciplinary action. Stallworth could face suspension without pay for some games this year.

      The Browns released a statement Tuesday evening, saying “The Browns are very conscious of the seriousness of the charges to which Donte’ Stallworth plead guilty to today. We are continuing to evaluate the situation and will make the decisions that we believe are in the best interest of the Cleveland Browns.”

      Stallworth must also undergo drug and alcohol testing, will have a lifetime driver’s license suspension and must perform 1,000 hours of community service. Lyons said after five years, Stallworth could win approval for limited driving for reasons such as employment.

      Lyons noted that Stallworth stopped immediately after the accident, called 911 and submitted to roadside alcohol testing despite spending most of the night drinking at a Miami Beach hotel.

      “He acted like a man,” Lyons said. “He remained at the scene. He cooperated fully.”

      Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle cited Stallworth’s lack of previous criminal record, cooperation with police and willingness to accept responsibility as factors in the plea deal. Rundle also said the Reyes family — particularly the victim’s 15-year-old daughter — wanted the case resolved to avoid any more pain.

      “For all of these reasons, a just resolution of this case has been reached,” Rundle said.

      None of the Reyes family attended the hearing. Their attorney, Rodolfo Suarez, read a statement saying the family wants to “bring closure to this emotional and tragic event.” Suarez was not immediately available to comment after the hearing.

      After Stallworth spent the night drinking at a bar in Miami Beach’s Fountainebleau hotel, police said he hit Reyes, a construction crane operator who was rushing to catch a bus after finishing his shift at about 7:15 a.m.

      Stallworth told police he flashed his lights in an attempt to warn Reyes, who was not in a crosswalk when he was struck.

      Stallworth had a blood-alcohol level of .126 after the crash, well above Florida’s .08 limit. Stallworth stopped after the crash and immediately told officers he had hit Reyes. Police estimated Stallworth was driving about 50 mph in a 40 mph zone.

      Stallworth signed a seven-year, $35 million contract with the Browns before last season but was injured much of the year. The California native and University of Tennessee college star also has played in the NFL for the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints.

      The night before the crash, Stallworth earned a $4.5 million roster bonus from the Browns.

      David Cornwell, a Stallworth attorney handling the NFL situation, said he has kept top league officials apprised of the case.

      “Whenever it is appropriate to do so, we are prepared to discuss the circumstances under which Donte’ will resume his career,” Cornwell said.”

    6. dan from pa Says:

      Whether or not Billy goes to jail is in the hands of the court. I know Billy has been very affected by his role in this incident. He is a good guy that made a horrible mistake. I hope and pray that Billy turns this into a positive. I hope he uses his celebrity to help this from happening to another person. God bless Billy and the Morelocks. I hope they alll find peace.

    7. Lee Miller Says:

      No one should have to give his life to a “DRUNK” ! No “DRUNK” that takes a life should be given any special treatment due to who he is . I have Met Billy ,He seemed realy cool . He does nice overpriced work . But no one should walk with a slap on the wrist for taking a life . Every time Billy is on TV these people have to look at the person who took their loved one . We’ve all had a few to many & had to ride home in fear of the man getting us , SO WE RIDE SLOW & CAREFUL .”NOT” FAST & WRECKLESS . I have lost several bro’s to drunk drivers . Those are the saddest funerals of all .Especially to live to 56 ,wanting to desperately to keep living ,To still ride at 66 & mabe even at 76 . I want to ride till i’m to feble to pull in the clutch . Just a Biker that wrenches on Harleys for a living ! In the real world !!!

    8. OSO Says:

      WE KNOW BILLY WILL GET A BREAK, IT’S NOT BECAUSE OF WHO HE IS, IT’S BECAUSE HE’S GOT FAT STACKS TO BACK THE SLICK LAWYER TO FIND THE LOOP HOLES AND CALL UP FAVORS DUE, YOU GOTTA REMEMBER THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY AND THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY GO TO LUNCH TOGETHER AND DEALS ARE MADE AND ONE HAND RUBS THE OTHER CAUSE IT’S ALL A DIRTY DEED IN THE MAKING, YEAH HE’S BILLY LANE, AND HE GOT LONG CASH, BUT HE TOOK A LIFE , LIKE I SAID HE’LL GET A BREAK, AND WE’LL JUST HAVE TO SIT BY AND WATCH THIS FOOL WALK ON BY WITH LITTLE OR NO TIME…..,,WHAT GETS ME IS ONLY NOW DOES HE (BILLY) START ACTING LIKE A RESPONSIBLE MAN, HIS HAIR CUT AND HIS WHO PERSONA IS MELLOW, HE ONLY FEELS BAD ABOUT GETTING COUGHT, NOT ABOUT WHAT THE CONSEQUENCES OF HIS DRUNKIN ACTIONS, WELL THATS MY FEELINGS ON THIS WHOLE MESS……I’M OUT

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