WhyBike Motorcycle Blog

Charges dropped in Billy Lane Crash

By James - 2/23/2007

According to a Florida news station,

Two charges have been dropped against a celebrity motorcycle builder in a fatal DUI case.

Billy Lane is still facing a DUI manslaughter charge, but is no longer charged with driving with a suspended license or driving under the influence with serious bodily injury.

Investigators said Lane hit a motorcyclist while driving home from a night of drinking in Cocoa Beach last September. Gerald Morelock was killed in the accident.

Tests showed Lane had a blood alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit.

I have some questions for the district attorney that might seem dumb for those who deal with our justice system frequently, but I do not understand this.

Why did they drop the two charges that Billy Lane is obviously guilty of? He was driving, this is not contested, while his license was suspended. He was drunk, according to blood drawn from Lane soon after the crash. These are black and white and should be the easy ones to convict on.

Whether or not Lane, driving drunk, was solely responsible for killing Morelock, without any mitigating circumstances, seems a lot harder to prove. So why would they drop the easy charges and pursue the harder, albeit most important and grave of the charges? Our justice system is not all or nothing, but if the defense can poke just one hole in the prosecution’s argument or my worst fear, a technicality gets the whole thing thrown out, Billy is a free man. At least with the lesser charges, he spends some time in a cell for actions that the evidence clearly shows he is guilty of. Can a lawyer chime in and explain this to me?

For more Billy Lane coverage:
Billy Lane Crash Coverage
Please show support to the family of Gerry Morelock



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  1. You’re right James, that seems pretty odd, but I’m in no way a law expert.

    Comment by Jesper Bram — 2/27/2007 @ 2:52 am

  2. Lane was cleared of the North Carolina charges in October.

    Brevard prosecutors could not pursue the suspended license charge, initially filed by the Florida Highway Patrol, because North Carolina authorities never reported Lane’s refusal to take a breath test to Florida, which would have suspended his Florida license for a year, said State Attorney’s spokeswoman Lynne Bumpus-Hooper.

    The FHP also charged Lane with a DUI causing serious bodily injury charge, but Bumpus-Hooper said Derrick, the passenger, declined to pursue charges against Lane for her injuries.

    Comment by Anonymous — 3/22/2007 @ 3:14 am


    Comment by aNONYMOUS 2 — 3/30/2007 @ 12:12 pm

  4. this guy should do prison time just like most of us who don’t have money and status to get out the charges

    Comment by STraight FOrward — 4/8/2007 @ 9:02 pm

  5. Karma is pretty funny!

    Comment by karma — 4/8/2007 @ 9:56 pm

  6. free free billy lane

    Comment by blackhorse choppers (ohio) — 4/27/2007 @ 2:40 pm

  7. how many times have you seen the bumper sticker,"kill a biker, go to jail". I have seen pictures of Billy doing a burnout, head turned up while someone poured a bottle of booze down his throat. Billy was just another drunk driver, and should be treated as such.

    Comment by Jay Killmer — 5/18/2007 @ 4:54 pm

  8. it’s still wrong in so many ways-drinking/riding not cool at all sorry for the family who lost a loved one

    Comment by wildman — 5/23/2007 @ 7:23 pm

  9. This is the most disturbing news to a family, it seems that justice is not blind it sees GREEN ! Billy Lane does have talent, but the life that was taken talent can’t touch.

    Comment by patty — 6/1/2007 @ 6:24 am

  10. Billy Lane is a fucking “poser". He needs to be strung up by his dread-locks,and given a terminal fucking beating!!! This is a “rich-boy” who woke up one day - got some tattoos - built a bike (with stolen parts) - and then tries to push himself off as a real biker.The word is that he once “ratted out” a friend of his to the cops to save his own ass…sending his buddy to prison! So to sum up: 1)He’s not a real biker. 2)He started out building bikes with stolen bike parts. 3)He’s a nark. 4)He’s now a biker killer! Any decent person would be sorry for what they did - and pay their dues! Boycott this asshole now!

    Comment by shovel — 6/8/2007 @ 7:17 pm

  11. Billy Lane should not receive any less or more punishment than the rest of us would. I got a dui while driving home from a bar in Alaska in ‘94 and got what I deserved. I didn’t learn from that experience. I continued to party until I finally was charged and convicted of a fellony in 2000 (it was not another dui, but was drug and alchohol related). I got everything I deserved. I am still paying the price for my actions. Fate will come back and bite Mr. Lane REAL hard in the ass one day. You watch. It WILL happen. I, however, will not sit and condemn Lane for his actions. That is the responsibility of our legal system. Sure, he’s a punk and a snitch/poser/wannabe but I have a choice: I don’t have to buy his outragiously “Celebrity Priced” crap! The Morelock fammily has an option to persue civil charges againt this jerk and tie up all his assets, just like the fammilies of O.J.’s victims did. This story is far from over.

    Comment by Phread — 6/23/2007 @ 6:42 am

  12. It seems to me that Mr. Lane is entitled to his innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The Florida legal system is designed to examine the facts, the law and apply that Florida law to the facts. If the State cannot prove a charge, it has to fail irrespective of the public opinion of the guilt or innocence.

    Mr. Lane has the wherewithal to retain top-flight legal counsel. He is entitled to his lawyers under the 6th Amendment. Do not begrudge him that. He is a citizen who is charged. He has lawyers who are as good if not better than the State of Florida District Attorneys. Even if we cannot afford the big boys, we should not denigrate Mr. Lane because he can.


    Comment by Kevin J. Street — 7/2/2007 @ 3:48 pm

  13. What always makes me wonder. Why do people seem to mess up so bad once they have reached success? It seems to me that once you have succeeded, watch you actions.

    Comment by JMBikerWarehouse.com — 9/11/2007 @ 2:27 pm

  14. Billy Lane blood samples may be tainted

    FLORIDA - Eisenmenger wants evidence thrown out

    Lawyers for motorcycle builder Billy Lane contend failure by police to refrigerate blood samples may have sparked bacterial growth that resulted in a false high blood-alcohol level reading against their client.

    Attorney Gregory Eisenmenger has filed motions calling for the evidence to be thrown out because Lane – charged with DUI manslaughter in connection with a Sept. 4, 2006, crash that left a motorcyclist dead – did not consent to a Florida Highway Patrol blood draw at the hospital following the accident.

    “Lane declined and then they took blood samples over his objection,” Eisenmenger said. “We’re saying that’s improper.”

    Police say Lane, 37, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19 – more than twice the legal limit – when he crossed a double yellow line on State Road A1A to pass several vehicles and struck 56-year-old Sebastian Inlet park ranger Gerald Morelock’s Yamaha mini-motorcycle head-on with his Dodge Ram pickup.

    He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted at his trial, expected to begin in early 2008. A pretrial conference hearing is scheduled before Circuit Judge Meryl Allawas for 9 a.m. Oct. 10.

    Eisenmenger said he expects to ask for a continuance that day in order to schedule a full day for his motions to be heard.

    Prosecutor Tom Brown said the state is “confident in our evidence.”

    Eisenmenger said FHP did not follow normal protocol when it transported Lane’s blood samples by mail to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, leaving them unrefrigerated. The vials of blood then sat unrefrigerated in an FDLE locker until they were tested and mailed back.

    The samples have not been refrigerated since then, Eisenmenger said.

    “Normal protocol would be to take them from FHP immediately and drive them over,” he said, “(because if left unrefrigerated) they can deteriorate. And if there is some sort of contamination from outside air, you can get bacterial infection, which can essentially cause production of alcohol in the blood sample itself. Bacteria feed off the proteins and sugars in the blood and convert that to alcohol.”

    Eisenmenger also is challenging the state’s testing protocols, which he said do not regulate the procedures and types of tests that may be used for blood alcohol analysis.

    “There’s a complete absence of oversight . . . all of which goes back to the reliability of the testing process,” he said of the motion, which he said would be heard by the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee.

    Eisenmenger is requesting that Allawas allow his expert witness, Largo toxicologist Lawrence Masten, to independently test the samples.

    A Morelock family civil suit against Lane seeking compensation for hospital and funeral bills was settled in July for an undisclosed amount.

    Comment by tequila — 10/5/2007 @ 6:45 am

  15. Well its like anything else if you got the money than you’ll get off, I seen Mr. Lane on PINKS as a crew member and they didn’t seem to care what he had to say he is not a camera hog any more, I feel sorry for the family of the man who was killed they have to sit back and watch this game being played, I use to think Billy was really cool but not now,,,,

    Comment by ChopperShawn — 4/3/2008 @ 9:48 pm

  16. the man he killed had a family how would you feel???i like billy and respect his talent and its a damn shame that happened to such a wonderful builder but he needs to serve his time and realize hes a normal person and he has to follow the rules (DONT DRIVE DRUNK)………

    Comment by (metal) mike — 4/7/2008 @ 9:07 pm

  17. Billy Lane has been idolized because of the stupid BIKER mentality and the new motorcycle craze that has evolved in the last 15 years. He made his fortune on building bullshit bikes. Everything I have ever seen him build screwed up on the journey. Yet people are such SHEEP they have bought into his crap. I said the first time I saw him, he is just a wanna be BIKER, who in actuality is a spoiled rich kid turned drunk and idiot. He is college educated but chooses to be a stupid. If they don’t give him actual time for the manslaughter, the DA should be voted out of office. This guy is a clown and obviously a hard head that thinks he can buy his way out of life. PRAY FOR JUSTICE…..

    Comment by Rose — 5/28/2008 @ 1:01 pm

  18. I’ve been riding for 30 years and think ANYBBODY kills someone while drinking and driving should go to prison,no matter who or how much money they have.

    Comment by David — 6/3/2008 @ 5:41 pm

  19. Even if he was sober, he still killed someone. It wasn’t an accident he was driving in the oncoming lane. He should go to prison for murder.

    Comment by Anonymous — 7/17/2008 @ 7:33 am

  20. We ought to let the Florida criminal justice system play out the hand. Opinions are worthless. It is fact that must be examined. It is my fondest wish that all of us on this site allow the system to work. Billy lane is entitled to his lawyers. The State has its lawyers. In no way do I denigrate what is happening to the family of the deceased victim but i do believe that reacting on emotion serves no purpose. Let the facts speak for Billy or the State. Then draw a lofical conclusion.

    Comment by Kevin J. Street — 8/11/2008 @ 2:02 pm

  21. come on yall…. we all know bikers like otheres drive and drink. this is a given. but when ya do the crime…billy has defied the law over and over. he gives us a bad rap. moreover he should as a public figure earning substantial sums from tv appearences might possibly be held to a higher standard just because. i’ve been in his shop as a tourist and found him to be quite rude to his guests. i’m sorry about billy and more sorry about the death he was involved in, but, as bikers we gotta be responsible.

    Comment by yo yall — 8/18/2008 @ 8:36 am

  22. I drive a car, I ride a bike and I have done both drunk in the past. I never had a bad accident or got a DUI, never hurt anyone or thing while being stupid. It was dumb luck. Billy wasn’t as lucky nor was his victim. I think if any of us were in Billy’s shoes, we’d be fighing for our lives too. He’s not going to get off like OJ. He will do time whether in jail or out because his rep as a man is in question. I hope justice is served fairly and swiftly for everyone concerned. Trust me, nobody wants to pull time today so think before you bash a man for trying to save his hide. Guilty or not, Billy’s good times are gonna change.

    Comment by Peter — 8/18/2008 @ 1:10 pm

  23. i seen this coming, but maybe it aint over yet. there,s all kinds of justice. thats why they say what goes around comes around.

    Comment by clint fipps — 9/20/2008 @ 4:49 pm

  24. Are you prople kidding me!!!!!! We all make stupid mistakes. Give Bily Lane a break!!

    Comment by FTW — 10/22/2008 @ 3:24 pm

  25. I think that they should hang his ass!!! If it was my family member prison would be the least of his worries! FUCK JUSTIS I’d WANT REVENGE ON HIS ASS!!!!

    Comment by Wayne Covert — 10/23/2008 @ 1:53 pm

  26. Any news ? shit , ya he fucked up but look in a mirror, how many of us rode drunk ??

    Comment by zu — 10/29/2008 @ 6:15 pm

  27. If that was any average Joe, we would of been tried and convicted by now of all charges. Its sick how all these celebrities get off so easy. Paris Hilton goes to jail for 96 minutes. Who the fuck goes to jail for 96 minutes. Us working class people ar hung by the balls. This country is so fucked up it makes me sick. You can do whatever the fuck you want and get away with it if you got money falling out of your asshole. Must be nice

    Comment by Jim — 11/11/2008 @ 8:04 pm

  28. What the hell is wrong here, Billy was Drunk he got in his truck and killed this poor guy, just the same as if he picked up a gun and shot him. I do not feel sorry for this ASS-HOLE! He will get his some day!

    Comment by Zigy — 11/18/2008 @ 5:55 pm

  29. its tuff reading all this stuff what it all come’s down to is some family has lost someone thay loved, billy turned him self in and is doing the right thing, let’s just take a minute to the family and hope that billy except’s his fate. stand’s up to the plate,like the man he is.peace out.

    Comment by rebecca — 12/17/2008 @ 8:21 am

  30. Let’s all stop nd give the family a minute for their loss,and knowing that billy turned himself in and is going to face his fate, like a man. you could turn him inside out all day long, but he did step up to the plate. so my thought’s are with everyone involved.it’s not going to be any easy’er with every one puting the knife in his back and turning it. he will get what he deserve’s

    Comment by rebecca — 12/17/2008 @ 8:28 am

  31. I think that drinking and driving is the dumbest idea on the planet but lets be honest we have all fucked up big time. i do believe Billy should go to jail if he is guilty. but i also believe that none of us were there that night so we dont know what happened so stop with the string him up ask questions later attitude.

    Comment by matt k. — 1/7/2009 @ 2:26 pm

  32. billys rise an fall depends on billy an no one else.however this unfortanate accident plays out mr.lane has to live with it the remainder of his life.

    Comment by poordevil — 1/11/2009 @ 1:47 pm

  33. It seems it is not Billy who is getting off scott free but the law not properly doing their job. Maybe your all barking up the wrong tree here.

    Comment by safe biker — 1/26/2009 @ 11:00 am

  34. I heard that Morelock was also loaded. Any truth to that? If so than what’s everyone bitching about Lane for !!! the situations a push. Louie from Jersey

    Comment by louie — 3/24/2009 @ 3:52 am

  35. Mr. Biker build off stupid looking back wheel Billy Lane. Comeon he built JUNK yet he would win some build offs never could figure out what they saw in his ugly bikes.The real KING of building what I would call bikes was indian Larry I mean flat out bare bones bad ass. Orange County Chooper?what? not in the running. These guys tv show was the cause driving bikes is not cool anymore. No really think about it when you see grandma tipping over a big harley on her worn out ass its no longer cool. No really Depends and a hard tail is a OXY moron. So get these clowns off of TV and maybe bikers will have some cool again.

    Comment by Billywannabe — 4/30/2009 @ 3:58 pm

  36. Bin riding bikes for 35+ years and partying hard most of the time.If I would every time I got twice legal limit of alcohol in my blood hit somebody I would be the biggest mass murder of all the times - but I didn’t I guess I was more lucky than Billy.
    SHIT HAPPEN and I’m sick and tired of all the stupid comments and judgments about Billy.
    1) Billy was partying hard before the “FAME”
    2) The same assholes who was watching the build offs on Discovery and buying dozen of magazines bringing on regular basis Billy’s bikes and pictures of him partying through the ratings and sales MADE the celebrity out of somebody who was just talented bike builder with original vision - the very same people now crying about ” average Joe punishment ” and wanna hang him high as a celebrity example. F U
    3) Bin there too many times avoiding accident when some asshole refused to pay attention to biker on the road ( not always successfully - lost my leg to reckless driver ) and from my experiences I believe if you are not drunk and you riding some 15 miles per hour moped the chances that you can avoid the accident are very high ( I’m in no way trying to somehow remove guilt from Billy - just putting big question sign above the victim alcohol level.)
    4) ALL YOU COMPLAINERS - there is a thousands of cases of drunk driving related deaths - how many hateful Emails did you written to all those who caused them?? You want him to be judged as a average Joe but every single Email is just proof of his celebrity status ( if he likes it or not ) and it is just normal that he uses every single dollar ( you really believe that the money drop in his pocket as a product of fame without hard work???) to get as low sentence as possible because if these Emails represent public opinion then he would be sitting for 15 years.
    IF YOU 1) NEVER drink and drove ( sometimes it takes just ones )
    2) believe that in the same situation you would ask for yourself the highest sentence because you deserve it
    feel free to past judgement he deserve to be punished

    Danke schon fur die Aufmerksamkeit

    Comment by LEO — 7/28/2009 @ 10:29 pm

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