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Old 06-08-2009, 02:18 PM   #1
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Looks Like Billy Lane Will Be Going Away For A While

http://www.floridatoday.com/article/...t+of+plea+deal

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Billy Lane to face 9 years as part of plea deal

BY KEYONNA SUMMERS
FLORIDA TODAY

In June 2002, motorcycle builder Billy Lane of Melbourne Beach was on top of the world.

He and his team of "gearheads" sold custom-built motorcycles at $30,000 to $40,000 a pop out of his well-established shop, Choppers Inc., on U.S. 1 in Melbourne. The Discovery Channel's motorcycle-themed reality competition series "Monster Garage" had just featured Lane on the show's first installment. He was invited as a featured guest to motorcycle shows and festivals all over Florida and beyond.

Now, the 39-year-old Lane is facing up to nine years in prison on a single felony charge of vehicular homicide in connection with a Labor Day 2006 car crash that left a Melbourne Beach man -- also a motorcyclist -- dead.

After several delays, Lane is expected in court Tuesday morning to change his not guilty plea. He would then be sentenced at 9 a.m. Aug. 14.

"We did get the written plea agreement in," defense attorney Greg Eisenmenger told FLORIDA TODAY. "Based on my review of it, I don't anticipate any problems. I anticipate we are good to go Tuesday."

Lane was charged two years ago with one count of DUI manslaughter in connection with the 2006 traffic accident in which Sebastian Inlet park ranger Gerald Morelock, 56, died.

Police said Lane's blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit when he crossed a double yellow line to pass slow traffic on State Road A1A south of Melbourne Beach. He crashed his Dodge pickup head on into Morelock's small Yamaha motorcycle on Sept. 4, 2006, police said.

In light of ongoing legal discussions over the permissibility of blood evidence at trial, prosecutors in late December added an alternative charge of vehicular homicide, which requires the state to prove that Lane was driving recklessly but does not include the drug or alcohol element needed to prove DUI manslaughter.

Both charges are second-degree felonies, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

But under the terms of the plea deal, Eisenmenger said prosecutors will drop the DUI manslaughter charge. Instead, they will seek a nine-year prison term for the vehicular homicide charge, a term Lane is eligible for under state sentencing guidelines when his prior criminal record is considered.

Eisenmenger will seek a sentence that calls for no time in prison.

"We believe there are mitigating factors in this case. . . . And we're going to be presenting those to the court at sentencing," he said.

Since the crash, Lane's public persona has suffered.

A message on his motorcycle shop's Web site says the shop is closed to the public, though merchandise is available for purchase online. Court records indicate that Lane's Melbourne Beach home is going through foreclosure.

Lane reached a confidential out-of-court settlement on a wrongful death suit filed by Morelock's family. Also, records show that Erin Derrick, a 22-year-old woman who was in the car with Lane at the time of the crash, is suing him for injuries she says have rendered her unable to work.

Most people contacted by FLORIDA TODAY declined to comment, but several observers from the motorcycle community said the case has hardly tarnished Lane's celebrity.

Mike Odom, a Melbourne motorcycle photographer who blogs about the case and has attended all but one hearing, said Lane's booth at Biketoberfest 2007 in Daytona Beach attracted a long line, so he decided to informally poll 10 people in line.

"Out of those 10, 50 percent were not aware of what happened, and the other 50 percent were aware but didn't care," Odom said.

On his blog, Odom said, a lot of reader comments have called for prison time. But there also is a sizeable number of people who want to see a "positive outcome," such as having Lane build and donate a motorcycle in Morelock's name or do public service announcements about the dangers of drunken driving, Odom said.

"He has enough of a following that people would listen to him," he said.

Like workers at most local businesses that sell motorcycles, Mike Marconi, general manager at Champions Honda in Cocoa, said Lane's custom motorcycle market and the "average Joe" market Marconi caters to are "entirely different."

"So most of our customers, they don't talk about it, and I'd guarantee a lot of our customers don't know who Billy Lane is," Marconi said.

Asked to offer his own opinion of the case, he said: "I don't really have a comment. I think the media likes to play it up because he's a known figure. If my parts manager got arrested for the same thing, I don't think we'd be talking about it."
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Iím really happy for you and Iím going to let you finish but AJFlo is one of the baddest mother fockers of all time!!!
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:25 PM   #2
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Such nice bikes!
1541808736922533583 Ride Smart
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Iím really happy for you and Iím going to let you finish but AJFlo is one of the baddest mother fockers of all time!!!
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:01 PM   #3
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Most people on this board want to fry the woman who backed up and killed a motorcyclist. Since Lane was drunk and driving a pick up when he killed a rider, he should get a lot more than nine years.
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by texasyankee View Post
Most people on this board want to fry the woman who backed up and killed a motorcyclist. Since Lane was drunk and driving a pick up when he killed a rider, he should get a lot more than nine years.
i have to agree here.....can't go soft on him just because he's famous.....a lot of talent though.....but talent doesn't offset such a stupid act.......
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:14 PM   #5
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Fry him...his bikes are ugly anyway.
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisiecki1 View Post
i have to agree here.....can't go soft on him just because he's famous.....a lot of talent though.....but talent doesn't offset such a stupid act.......
+1


he should be treated as anyone else would
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:17 PM   #7
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"We believe there are mitigating factors in this case. . . . And we're going to be presenting those to the court at sentencing,"

Id certainly like to hear what these supposed "mitgating factors" are for being twice the legal limit from the sauce, passing a whole row of cars and killing a biker.
Please Mr. defense attorney, do tell.
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:44 PM   #8
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Well, we can't fix stupid. He should get the max of 15 yrs as the law reads, no exceptions for him because he is semi-famous. If you are famous or have lots of money, you can get away with anything (for the most part except tax invasion, hahahah!). But, when you're the average Joe and only got lil duckets, you get fried!!!!

I will gladly fly to Florida, execute him and fly back to Houstone. It would be all free, I will donate the time, expenses and resources!!!!
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:49 PM   #9
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I didn't know who he was until I read this. I say he's just as punishable as anybody, if not more so.
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:52 PM   #10
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Do the crime do the time. I don't care who it is.
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:57 PM   #11
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prediction:

will be sentenced to 4 years and he will only do 18 months.
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Old 06-08-2009, 04:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
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prediction:

will be sentenced to 4 years and he will only do 18 months.
I was thinking along those lones.
3 or 4 years sentence, out as soon as he is eligible for parole.
also, Im sure he will petition for a minimum security, kush prison because hes famous. Probably get it, too.
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Old 06-08-2009, 04:12 PM   #13
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Someone please explain why we allow the rich and famous to get special treatment.
We ALL know it happens but nobody seems to care enough to stop it.

I remember the coach for the Dallas Cowboys went to the airport with a gun in his carry-on bag. This was before 9-11 but it was still HIGHLY illegal. He was detained briefly, maybe missed his flight, but was allowed to go. I don't think he even got fined.
The point is any of us would have had serious jail time for that and he got a slap on the wrist because he was rich and the coach of the "boys".
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Old 06-08-2009, 04:17 PM   #14
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Because of him, someone is dead. I think he should be in there for a minimum of 5 years.
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Old 06-08-2009, 04:24 PM   #15
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No special treatment!!! He should be treated like the ladies and drunk drivers that have killed anyone.


I say ladies because of the lady that back up on an entrance ramp and the lady from awhile back that turned in front of a bike and his girlfriend and friend saw him die. I want to say it happend up north by Conroe or Kingwood.

Don't mean all women can't drive.
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Old 06-08-2009, 04:37 PM   #16
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Don't mean all women can't drive.
Yes it does.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:25 AM   #17
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no offense guys, but he didn't kill a biker. he killed a dude on a rental yamaha scooter, who was also drunk. yes, they were both drunk, as was the chick in the truck with billy. they all ****ed up, someone was killed. it's a situation, and i'm not saying billy shouldn't get sentenced, i just want both sides of the story to be known.
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:55 AM   #18
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Fry him...his bikes are ugly anyway.
agreed
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:05 AM   #19
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Never watched the show. Looks like a tool that'll fit right in prison.
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:10 AM   #20
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Quote:
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no offense guys, but he didn't kill a biker. he killed a dude on a rental yamaha scooter, who was also drunk. yes, they were both drunk, as was the chick in the truck with billy. they all ****ed up, someone was killed. it's a situation, and i'm not saying billy shouldn't get sentenced, i just want both sides of the story to be known.

Well, now that I know that the other guy was drunk, f*ck him anyway. He needs to go down and serve serious time. Just cause someone is drunk doesnt make the fact that this was drunk and killed him.
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