State

Owner of Road Dog may be allowed home

The judge has refused to release Holloway. Click on the story link to the left of this story to read the latest news.

A judge is expected to rule today on whether Road Dog Cycle shop owner Bob Holloway can leave the Fresno halfway house in which he's confined and return home to Turlock.

Defense attorneys say Holloway should be allowed to await trial on federal racketeering charges at his house, where electronic surveillance would track his movements.

Prosecutors say Holloway has a propensity for violence and shouldn't be released because he poses a danger to the community.

If his attorneys succeed, Holloway would go home for the first time since July 2008, when he was arrested after a grand jury indicted him and 11 other men.

Authorities say Holloway, 62, ran Road Dog Cycle in Denair as a criminal enterprise and haven for outlaw motorcycle gangs. The charges against him include operating a chop shop, trafficking in stolen vehicle parts and using violence to collect debts.

If convicted of all the counts against him, he faces decades in prison and fines of up to $2.5 million. His case is scheduled to go to trial in July.

Holloway was in custody at the Fresno County jail until June 2009, when his defense attorneys persuaded U.S. District Court Judge Oliver W. Wanger that he should be released to Turning Point, a halfway house. As a condition of his release from jail, Holloway posted a $500,000 bond that's secured by properties, including his Turlock house.

Since then, Holloway has paid $2,550 a month to live at Turning Point. He is allowed to leave for court appearances and medical appointments. Holloway underwent a procedure to unblock a clogged artery last fall.

His attorneys say he's been a model resident at Turning Point, embarking on beautification projects such as planting flower beds.

In previous court filings, defense attorneys acknowledged that Holloway is a brash man who sometimes has verbal outbursts. But in asking the court to consider Holloway's release to home detention, attorneys claim Holloway is "not defiant or resentful."

Holloway "does not come before the court as an angry man, but rather as an individual with an abundance of good qualities who wishes to be at peace with the government and the legal system," defense attorneys wrote.

That's a mild tone for Holloway, a man who has a complicated past with the government and legal system. A former Stanislaus County sheriff's deputy, Holloway was acquitted in 2001 of murder charges. Holloway was tried after he confronted a career criminal in 1997 who tried to rob his Denair shop, killing the man during a fight.

After the 2001 acquittal, Holloway lashed out publicly at Stanislaus County prosecutors, saying they should be removed from their jobs because they unfairly singled him out for prosecution.

Almost 10 years later, federal prosecutors are arguing that Holloway is too dangerous to be released from Turning Point. They say his past shows he has a propensity for violence and that he used friends who are outlaw motorcycle gang members and violent felons to collect debts owed to Road Dog, often with violence or threats of violence.

Holloway poses a danger to the community, they say, because he could try to intimidate witnesses. Prosecutors say some witnesses had to be moved after they were threatened after authorities searched Holloway's shop.

Prosecutors made similar arguments in 2008, when the court heard arguments on whether Holloway should be allowed to post bail. Wanger decided then to keep Holloway in custody because a witness received a threatening phone call after being named in court.

Today's hearing is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. in Courtroom 3 of Fresno's federal courthouse.

Bee staff writer Leslie Albrecht can be reached at lalbrecht@modbee.com or 578-2378. Follow her at http://twitter.com/BeeReporter.

Related stories from Merced Sun-Star

  Comments