“Rogue” (Motorcycle Hall Of Fame Member 2005) followed the legal process since day one and was in Court on Friday August 14 during the sentencing of Billy Lane. Below he expresses his opinion regarding some important facts that he states have been kept aside and consequently influenced negatively Brevard County Circuit Judge Robert Burger sentencing decision.
On Friday August 14th 2009 Billy Lane was sentenced by newly elected Judge Robert Burger to 6 years in prison. I think Judge Burger is a pussy and should be off the bench at the next election. I say this because he appeared to be taking directions from the Brevard County Prosecutor Tom Brown who is looking to make a name for himself by prosecuting a celebrity bike builder.
Please note that it is a prosecutor’s job to get convictions. It really has nothing to do with guilt or innocence and or degree there of. There are an awful lot of DUI cases in Brevard County and None of Them Got The Notoriety This Case Did. It should also be noted that DUI cases generate a lot of money for the State and those running the classes to prevent DUI. The long prison terms given to some defendants nor these classes have seemed to to slow down or stop people from drinking and driving.
I always was under the impression that as a judge you were the one that made the decision and not the one that took directions from the prosecution. It was apparent to me and others in the court that Judge Burger had pretty much made up his mind prior to sentencing, his actions in the court room were quite obvious. Hell, at one time I thought he had his eyes closed and was possibly asleep.
Yes part of the prosecutor’s statement was calling Billy Lane a celebrity. Well, let’s see! Donte Stallworth of the Cleveland Browns was sentenced to 30 days in jail of which he served 23 days, a fine and probation for a similar offense. After Billy’s sentencing a South Florida resident that was in court stated he felt the difference was because the sports figure was Black. It never dawned on me prior to that statement that that might be the case as I did not know the sports figure was black only that he was some kind of celebrity and I figured that the sentence he got is what Billy should have gotten.
But why the big difference in sentencing? The law is a Florida State Law and Not A County Law. It should also be noted that the average sentence has been reported to be two years. That average is arrived by taking the light sentence for a sports figure and the high sentence for others. But then again the sports figure was “Black”. I will note that Judge Burger did go outside of the guide lines requested by the state and lowered it by three (3) years. Because of circumstances and evidence he was justified to go out side the guide lines suggested by the prosecutor, he could have lowered the sentence more that he did. Judge Burger, like many others in the area was aware that Gerald Morelock who was the person killed in the collision was DUI with alcohol and drugs in his system. It should also be noted that Mr Morelock pulled out of a parking lot into the lane of traffic and caused the collision that took his life. Considering these facts which are well known but were not allowed by the prosecutor to be brought up Judge Burger could have reduced Billy’s sentence to 1 to 3 years. I believe that is something that would have been acceptable to all.
Billy Lane had made peace with the family and they asked the court not to sentence him to prison and instead be allowed to do media spots about what had happened and hopefully stop others from being in similar situations. Since the present system of trying DUI cases does not seem to be working other than making money for the State (their DUI programs and filling up our prisons) it is logical that something else should be tried. Having Billy Lane doing documentaries about what happened to him and trying to convince others not to drink and drive would definitely be a step in the right direction. Serious consideration should be given to what the victim’s family wants and Not what some State Attorney wants, looking to make a name for himself and telling a judge what to do!
Everyone that rides a motorcycle should be outraged by the sentence given to Billy Lane. The prosecutor made reference to the “Kill A Biker Go To Jail” slogan which is popular among motorcyclists, and in reference to that no matter what you ride if you are the one that causes the collision You Are The One At Fault. Though Billy Lane was speeding, a fact that he admitted and did tell the judge he was willing to take whatever punishment given to him He Did Not Cause The Collision That Killed Gerald Morelock. Gerald Morelock Did!!!! Rogue, Sturgis Freedom Fighters, Motorcycle Hall Of Fame Member 2005