Thursday, 15 January 2015

Ryan Holle - Life in Prison for Lending his Car to a Friend!



Ryan Holle

On March 10th 2003, Ryan Holle loaned his car to his room mate and friend, William Allen, Jr. Allen then used the vehicle to pick up three men and drove them to the address of a known drug dealer. Where the group planned to steal drugs. Once they had broken in, the men emptied a safe of around $400 and a pound of marijuana. Unfortunately, they were interrupted by the home owner's teenage daughter and, in an effort to silence her, used a rifle from the house to bludgeon her to death. The killer, Charles Miller, Jr and the other men were soon arrested, a then twenty-year old Ryan Holle was also arrested alongside them. Because Florida adopt the Felony Murder Rule, Holle was deemed an accomplice for the loaning of his car and was therefore seen just as culpable for the young girl's death. Facing a first-degree murder charge, Ryan Holle was offered a plea deal, a ten year sentence in return for his testimony on the other men. Adamant that he was innocent of the charge, Holle refused the deal and his case went to trial. 

 When Holle's trial began in 2004,  the prosecutor started by hinting that during initial police questioning Holle gave the impression he knew exactly what the men planned to do that night. The prosecutor also went as far as saying that Holle was actually the mastermind behind the whole robbery and that he had been more than aware that 'knocking someone out' was a probability. He went on to state that Ryan Holle should be found guilty of first-degree murder because 'No Car, No Crime'.  Holle testified to the contrary, saying William Allen Jr had asked him to lend his car to go get food. Ryan Holle explained that he and others had enjoyed a long night of partying and he had no qualms in lending Allen the car, as it was something he had done in the past. He insisted that he had known nothing of the robbery until after the act and even then he had thought the men were joking around. Holle's version of events was also backed up by Allen, Jr himself. The entire trial, including prosecution/defence/witness testimony, jury deliberations, verdict and sentencing, lasted just one day. Ryan Holle was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole. Despite prosecutors at first seeking the death penalty, Charles Miller Jr also received life without parole, as did the other three men involved. 

I have to admit Ryan Holle's conviction and sentence do not sit well with me at all. If accountability for a murder is being pushed back to the owner of the vehicle used, then isn't the home owner who had drugs in her house just as accountable? She created an unsafe environment for her family by knowingly having (and allegedly selling) marijuana under her roof. Instead, the home owner, and victim's mother, was sentenced to just three years in prison for possession. Why did the prosecution believe Ryan Holle was aware of the potential consequences when he lent his car to William Allen, Jr and the person who had drugs in their home wasn't? After all, following the prosecutor's twisted logic, shouldn't it be "No Marijuana, No Crime"?. In my eyes, Ryan Holle has been convicted of what he may have allegedly been thinking. 


I feel it is also important to note that Ryan Holle did not have a prior criminal record, unlike the other four men who were convicted. So how did the prosecution come to the conclusion that someone who has never been convicted of a criminal act in the past could be the mastermind behind a robbery? Especially when the others involved had all spent time in jail at some point. How did any jury find the alleged evidence against Holle enough to find him guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt? Of course, the prosecution are quick to point out that, on the evidence presented, twelve unbiased jury members found Ryan Holle guilty. However, when I consider that both Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson were found not guilty of murder by twelve unbiased jury members, this point bears no weight with me. Ryan Holle may have exercised poor judgement and naivety, but neither of these are against the law. 


In December 2014, four cabinet members decided to 'take advisment' in Ryan Holle's clemency hearing. This means, he is still waiting for a decision. If the clemency hearing is dismissed and any further appeals fail, Ryan Holle will die in prison for a crime that was committed while he was asleep in bed two miles away. Where is the justice in that? 


What do you think about the Ryan Holle case? Do you think the conviction and sentence were deserved or, like me, do you think he shouldn't have been convicted at all?



Ryan Holle continues to protest he knew
nothing about the robbery.

If you believe Ryan Holle should be granted clemancy, you can sign his Change.org petition at the following link - https://www.change.org/p/florida-commission-on-offender-review-governor-rick-scott-grant-clemency-for-ryan-holle-who-was-sentenced-to-life-for-loaning-his-car

To keep up-to-date with the Holle case, check out the Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/justiceforryanholle

10 comments:

  1. Hey, I have a petition started for Ryan if anyone is interested in signing it... He's still waiting on an answer from the clemency board. Nothing has been decided at this time. So, the petition could still sway their decision on the matter. Thanks! https://www.change.org/p/florida-commission-on-offender-review-governor-rick-scott-grant-clemency-for-ryan-holle-who-was-sentenced-to-life-for-loaning-his-car

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    1. I also have a blog about the petition here: http://www.climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com/2014/11/sign-and-share-please.html

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  2. Hi Jenny, thanks for the link. After reading this article http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/legislature/man-serving-life-for-giving-his-car-to-killers-will-remain-in-prison-for/2209688 I thought the clemency board had made a decision - is the info in this post incorrect? I want to ensure the information in my own post is accurate.

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  3. The Board took the information presented in the parole examination and at the Clemency hearing "under advisement." This means no decision has been made as of yet. This happens in these cases. There is one from March of 2014 that was taken "under advisement" that has yet to be decided. We're still waiting. It's a slow torture honestly. I was at the hearing myself. The newspapers did make it sound like a decision was reached, but nothing has happened.

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  4. Thanks for giving me the correct information Jenniy, I have updated my blog accordingly. I will keep my eye on the news for any info on Ryan's hearing. I hope he gets good news.

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  5. Thanks for the page and publicity. We have create a Facebook page for the express reason of contacting the Florida clemency board at clemencyweb@fcor.state.fl.us . Reference Ryan Holle case 126321

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  6. Thanks for the information and links. I have signed Ryan's petition and I have added the petition and Facebook details to the main post.

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  7. There’s something really odd about that. There are a lot of conflicting news articles on this, but it seems like the only thing the defense had was speculation and suspicion, all because Ryan Holle owned the car. That really isn't enough to convict a person of murder and to put him in jail for so long, especially since he isn't the one who did the act in the first place. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the matter.

    Eliseo Weinstein @ JRs Bail Bond

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