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Billy Lane sentenced to 6 years in deadly crash case

judge_burger

Judge Burger began motorcycle builder Billy Lane’s sentencing hearing today by stating that he had accepted the plea of no contest to the charge of vehicular homicide submitted to him on June 9th. He then asked State attorney Tom Brown to start with his opening remarks and recommendations for sentencing. Brown began by submitting a score sheet to the court and the reading off several incidents where Billy had been ticketed for speeding and other traffic violations in an attempt to show that this was not an isolated incident. Tom Brown remarked that these incidents of recklessness showed that this was not an isolated incident, but a pattern where someone was bound to get hurt.

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Brown went on to graphically describe the recreation and scene of the crash that brought tears to the eyes of both the Morelock family and Billy Lane. Prosecuting attorney Brown showed aerial photos of the crash scene pointing to the clearly marked double yellow line and pointing out that Mr. Lane had several opportunities to get back into his lane. The results (Brown said) of Mr. Lane’s reckless behavior ended the life of Gerald Morelock. The law states that when you take the life of a human being, you go to jail and that is what we are asking for today your Honor. Brown recommended that the judge stay within the criminal guidelines and Lane be sentenced to 111.15 months in prison, which equates to just over 9 years. In a few moments you will be hearing testimony from the members of the victim’s family, Mr. Lane intends to speak and others are here to appear on his behalf. However, the defense has the burden to prove two things. They need to prove that this death was not a sophisticated homicide and that it was an isolated incident. Indeed, if this can be proven, than the court would be allowed, at the Judge’s discretion to downgrade the recommended sentence. State Attorney then rested and turned the floor over to Defense attorney Gregory Eisenmenger.

sean_morelock

The court room was filled with people in support of Billy lane including Hugh “The Chopper” King, Executive Co Producer and emcee of the television shows Biker Build Off and Motorcycle Mania. Some had a chance to speak, while others where there just to show support for the celebrity motorcycle builder Billy Lane. The general consensus was that Lane could do more to have a positive outcome of the incident if he were not incarcerated by giving back to the community by way of public service announcements and helping to build a non-profit memorial in the name of Gerald Morelock.  There were several who made statements on Billy’s behalf including his Father Warren Lane. Sean Morelock, who has been most affected by the death of his Uncle Gerald said that he had come to realize that Lane could do positive things to help children and felt that would have been what his uncle would have wanted.

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 Gerald’s brother, Byron Morelock also spoke saying that it was not necessarily his opinion, but thinks his brother would have wanted good to come from the incident. Both Sean and Byron said that the final decision of Lane’s fate rested in the hand of the court.

 lane_testifys

 

Billy Lane was then called to the stand and sworn in to make his statement. This would be the first time that Lane had spoken openly to the public about what happened and his feelings. Billy started out by saying I am here today to show everybody who I am, not who you think I am. Lane showed a great deal of remorse and came to tears on several occasions. He described how he had to pass by the spot where he killed Gerald Morelock almost every day and how he prayed for his soul and his family. Billy Lane admitted that he had made a bad decision and was not asking for pity for what had happened. He said he was sorry and asked forgiveness for taking the life of another human being. He stated that he was ready to accept the court’s decision and accepted responsibility for the death of Gerald Morelock. Though Billy showed a great deal of emotion during the hearing and when he spoke. He showed very little expression as his sentence was read.

lane_sentenced

After hearing all the statements of sending a message and using Lane’s notoriety in a positive way, State Attorney said that a message like this is like a double edged sword. He remarked that children where mentioned several times and that we should think twice about this. Do we want to send this message that could be interpreted differently by the demographics spoken of? The message could be also interpreted to read that if I grow up to be a celebrity, I can get away with bad things. This is not the type of message we want to be sending out to our youth.

After hearing from both sides and with no further statements, Judge Burger recessed for 20 minutes to makes his decision. When the Judge returned, he stated that he found that this was an isolated incident and therefore had opted to downgrade the sentence recommended by the State guidelines. He did agree with the State as to not wanting to send out the wrong type of message and asked Billy Lane to rise. With the downward departure, Judge Burger sentenced Billy Lane to 6 years in the custody of the Department of Corrections to be followed by 3 years of probation. The Judge also suspended Lane’s driving privileges for life along with orders to pay court cost and cost of investigation. The Judge had also sentenced Lane to take a DUI driver awareness class, but later dropped that provision when Eisenmenger stated that Mr. Lane had already completed the class.

lane_in_custody

Billy Lane was the taken into custody and escorted out of the courtroom with his family and friends shouting we love you Billy.

Edit: I am adding a video that I shot using my Canon Power Shot. It took me a bit to convert and as you can see my regular job set me back on getting this story posted to bein with.

YouTube Preview Image

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  • 12 Responses to “Billy Lane sentenced to 6 years in deadly crash case”

    1. Chessie Says:

      Mike, thank you for reporting this in an accurate, unbiased position. The information contained in this report is more complete than any I’ve read so far…The photos are superb…

      These days it’s hard to find this kind of reporting…
      Kudos,
      Chessie (Marilyn Bragg)

    2. byron & seany morelock Says:

      Both our family’s lives , the Morelocks & the Lanes have been changed forever ……
      please believe me when I say that some of the “Reporters” have edited some of our words.
      HEAR ME NOW ! THESE ARE MY WORDS :
      “NO ONE ON THIS EARTH KNEW GERRY MORE THAN SEANY & I …..
      AND NOW I SHALL SAY SOMETHING THAT MANY OF YOU WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND ….”BOTH SEANY AND I KNOW BILLY MORE THAN ANYBODY ON THIS EARTH !!!
      SEANY, MYSELF AND BILLY WILL CONTINUE TO DO GOOD THINGS TOO HELP YOUNG CHILDREN IN NEED TILL THE DAY WE DIE !
      THIS IS WHAT MY SWEET BIG BROTHER WOULD HAVE WANTED TO GO FORWARD !!!!!!. And this is what we shall do !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      All of us involved would like to thank so many of you and hope & pray that ALL OF YOU will support our endeavers to help children with the Gerry Morelock Foundation coming soon to all of you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      FROM ALL OF US ….TO ALL OF YOU ….”NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE !!!!!!!!!!!!”

      With love to all ,
      Byron & Seany (and Billy!)

    3. Ljava Says:

      Mike,
      What do you think about an appeal, don’t you think this is already in the works for BL. Does anyone know how this works? I feel bad for both sides of familes and I find it so honorable for Byron and Seany to stand up for what their brother and uncle would have wanted, God Bless you ! It takes alot for them to be the men they are, I hope they can touch many lives with this foundation. I think Billy is remorseful and could do more good outside of bars and he will continue to help the Morelock family behind bars. As a mother myself I am devasted for BL’s mother, I hope things can be turned around with an appeal.

    4. Roy in Mesa Az Says:

      I’m just writing to say that I am sad to see that Billy Lane did something so stupid because he served as a role model for me while I was incarcerated for my own dumb decisions years ago. I do believe Billy is both a remorseful man, and I’m just sorry it had to come down to this.
      My best wishes go out to everybody touched by this unfortunate loss.

    5. D Says:

      I am sorry for both families. The comment above by the Morelock family speaks volumes. I think the whole sentence from prison time to driving permits was very extreme. It seems like Billy is paying more than an every day citizen just because he’s a celebrity.
      Both families are in my prayers.

    6. Kentucky-Bred Says:

      I read on Cyril Huze’s Blog that there would be no appeal for Billy Lane….the cash is gone. His 6 year sentence was less than the State of Florida’s sentencing guidelines for the crime…………..he could have got 9 to 15 years. Billy Lane should be thankful. 6 years for killing someone seems like a good deal to me.

    7. Bestoink Says:

      Lane was sloppy drunk driving in the wrong lane and he smashed the life out of a man. He’d been caught driving drunk before and had lost drivers’ license. This was not an isolated incident. He shouldn’t have even been on the road! Lane played Russian roulette with others’ lives. Unlike most of you I AM NOT SORRY FOR LANE, not at all. I think he’s getting off light. The judge did the public a disservice by reducing the agreed plea deal, swayed by Lane’s crying and his all his apologists. The drunk drivers are maiming, crippling, and killing us. All of you who say you feel sorry for this guy, I hope a drunk like Lane plows into you and turns you into a quadrapalegic, and gets off with a short stint, like Lane.

    8. Todd Says:

      That’s a rediculous sentence. Don’t drink and drive and smoke pot on your moped, it will affect your judgement and possibly cause you to hit a truck. I can see jail for billy lane but how can you reward the victim a huge settlement when he should have never been on the road in the first place!!!!

    9. Mike Odom Says:

      Reward? He is dead.

    10. Bootris X Says:

      Cyril, Thanks for posting the results of this. I hate to say it but there is a lot of money hopefully heading the plaintiffs way. I am a student of the law and Chrysler had a legal victory in their bankruptcy where they are in such bad shape they may not have to pay a judgement on a Personal Injury clam. Yall may want to check that out, I am not giving any legal advice. Night Cyril, lets see some new bad ass bikes soon when u get a chance.

      Tx Bootris

    11. jay ray Says:

      hey mike, any idea which jail billy’s in?

    12. Mike Odom Says:

      Hi Jay,
      Yes, Billy is currently housed at the Avon Park Correctional Institution. Avon Park is a minimum security work camp that also has rehabilitation available. It is also has available vocational programs, one of which happens to be welding. I can’t say for sure, but I would imagine he is teaching there to get gain time.

      You can verify this information by doing a offender search at the Florida DOC web site http://www.dc.state.fl.us/inmateinfo/inmateinfomenu.asp

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