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Biker and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog

Billy Lane to Face 9 years in Jail as Part of Plea Bargain Deal

Billy Lane 2009 *** August 18, 2009 Update.

Billy Lane got 6 years in prison and probation after he gets out. Look for a new article on the subject soon.

*** June 17, 2009 Update.

Billy Lane’s plea of guilty to vehicular homicide was accepted by the Court last week. He will remain free until his next Court appearance on August 14, 2009, when he will be sentenced. It is said that he will probably avoid prison. Part of the plea deal mandates a lifetime suspension of his drivers license in Florida, however he could petition the Florida department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for a hardship licence.

He faced up to 15 years in prison, however according to published reports his plea deal mitigates his maximum possible sentence to 9 years. He may also be sentenced to house arrest or probation.

In June 2002, motorcycle builder Billy Lane of Melbourne Beach, Florida was on top of the world. He sold custom-built motorcycles at $30,000 to $40,000 a piece. He gained fame and celebrity status through various reality TV shows. He was subsequently was invited as a featured guest to motorcycle shows and festivals all over the United States and beyond.

Now Billy Lane who is 39 years old, 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 Gerry Morelock, a Melbourne Beach, Florida man, a motorcyclist, dead.

After several delays, Lane is expected in court Tuesday morning to change his not guilty plea to “no contest.” He would then be sentenced on Aug. 14, 2009, at 9:00am.

“We did get the written plea agreement in,” defense attorney Greg Eisenmenger told several newspapers. “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 Gerry 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, Florida. 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 in the State of Florida, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Billy Lane 2006But 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, but he still seems to be popular at biker and motorcycle events.

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, Florida 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.

If Billy Lane does change his plea to no contest tomorrow, I will comment more on this issue at that time. Everyone who reads the Biker Law Blog knows how I feel about people who kill bikers and motorcyclist.

California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., 2009

88 Responses to Billy Lane to Face 9 years in Jail as Part of Plea Bargain Deal

  1. Actually Billy got a decent sentence for killing a man. I heard, probably here that it was to be 9 years. If FL is like CA, he might get out early for good behaviour. Too bad he isn’t in CA as they are wanting to let all sorts of prisoners go due to budget cuts!. However, I do think he will get out in less than 6 years. don’t they all if they behave? I wonder if now that he is sentenced, if he will spend his time growing his hair back? Odd question, but that crazy hair seemed to make him feel more like a tough guy biker. The expensive bling and clothes, shades, etc belied the rough biker image.
    After all is now said and done, I feel for Gerald’s family, but I truly feel for Billy too. He just thought he was above it all. I remember watching the BBO with the preacher type guy. DARN what is his name? LOL.. Anyway he predicted this would happen some day, and it did. I feel for Gerald, Billy, and both families. I do feel justice was served. I hope when Billy comes out, he will be changed. Not as a person really as i do think he was a decent person, but to realize he must follow the rules of life. NO ONE should ever drink and drive. And those that do and brag about it, well shame on you and we will hope that you are not the next person we are talking about that was killed OR killed while DUI..

  2. I think he shuould get just as harsh as anyone but the lady that is suing him dumb she knew what could happen getting in a vhehicle with an intoxicated person suing is dumb. she should be held as bad as billy.

  3. The only reason I might see to argue against putting Billy in jail, in terms of serving justice, is that he does no one — including the family members of Mr. Morelock — any good inside the slam.

    Justice should be, when possible, about restitution, not revenge. No possible amount of revenge can return Gerald to life, nor make up to his family his temporal absence.

    In an extreme case, taking an eye for an eye, we could seek to take Billy Lane’s life, in revenge for Gerald Morelock’s. But while possibly satisfying to the family, it will not help their hardship. Instead, justice should let Mr. Lane work, and put Mr. Morelock’s children and grandchildren through college.

    Billy took a man’s life. Continuing restitution makes more sense than simply locking him up.

    Or so it seems to me.

    • I always liked Billy Lanes work but he knew what he was doing when he created the circumstances for the wreck. Inprisionment is not meant as revenge for the family. It is a lesson for Billy. Maybe he will hand off the keys next time, after serving 6 yrs. If he walks on this one then hes just gonna do it again.

  4. Everybody is so quick to judge someone they never even met.They both were wrong.They both should not have been on the road.Billy will pay the ferryman someday,just as we all do. good luck in the future Bill.

  5. there isnt one of u idiots that wouldnt try to save ur own ass just like billy especially u mr i fought for my country big man. so did i .thats how i know .so leave billy alone .why dont u put ur time and concern on ur own sick lives.

  6. Drinking fatalities and their punishment are not often fair, as is our system of justice.

    As far as race goes, Plaxico Buress is in jail for 2 years for accidentally shooting himself in a club. So being a celebrity may work against you, especially if your in a big media area like NYC. That’s a waste of taxpayer money, IMO and far worse crimals need to be in jail.

    Dante did 30 days and somebody died.

    People can kill people in DUI’s and their lawyers have gotten them off for less time.

    Your lawyer, the state your in, prosectuors, and just plain luck have a lot to do with it. Like life, sentancing and what you get may be too- or not – harsh enough.

    • I have no idea if you will ever see this, but if you do. Remember this he KILLED A HUMAN BEING.All of you goons on here, if this happened to one of you’re loved one’s. I know you would,think differently about this situation.How about this , someone walks in and tells you, hey your mom is dead,what happened to her. She got hit by a drunk driver, then you would say. He deserves to be punished, but no prison time, it’s a waste of taxpayers money. GET THE POINT.

  7. look at all you high horse riders. yes he made a tragic mistake. and yes he should have to pay for his actions and yes he should do some time. but got off your soap boxes.im wondering with all you people talking, how many have you got in the car drunk in your life. even once. who of you never had a drink a drove. remember when you did what he did. o but you had better luck and did not wreck, does that make you a bewtter person , no i say just lucky…so shut up

  8. when you play you pay love all of your bikes you are very talented it just sucks you put your life in the shiter i feel for you but i feel for the poor person you killed.

  9. It is what it is. No matter what anybody posts here, or anywhere else is going to change what happened. I was very surprised to see that he recieved a 6yr/3yr probated sentence, do I think he deserves it? Maybe, maybe not..there are way too many migating factors to lay full blame on just one person. Neither of them should have been driving under the influence, and I agree with Stacey that Erin had numerous oportunities to remove herself from the situation, but made the choice to be where she wanted to be. It was all just a very unfortunate accident, and my only hope is that something positive can come out of it.

    Having known Billy for many, many yrs I can honestly say that I believe he truly is remorseful. I understand that some people see pictures and read things on social sites, to them I would say that you need to take into consideration WHEN the photo or article was taken/written..sometimes when we see things for the first time doesn’t necessarily mean that is when it “just” happened.

    Stacey..hey hey hey girl..hope all is going good for you..if some people only knew, right? xoxo

  10. I met Billy at several shows and found him very personable. But this case is really not about how we feel about Billy. Too many people base their opinion on how they ‘feel’ about him. How would you feel if Mr. Morelock was in the truck and killed Billy on his bike? I seriously doubt you would be defending him like you are Billy. You would likely want him to rot in jail.

    We have a justive system for a reason. So many of you have spoken about how he’s a changed person but others have spoken about him posting pictures of himself at biking events (possibly riding without a license) and even drinking. That’s unsettling on several levels. I suspect if anything is going to change him it will be six years, or whatever time he ultimately serves, in prison that has the most lasting impact on him.

    I believe he’s remorseful and may well be haunted by this for the balance of his life. My hope for Billy is that he returns to society completely changed, particularly on the issue of drinking and choosing to drive.

    The poorest defense I’ve witnessed on this site is ‘that everybody drinks and chooses to drive.’ That’s very weak!

    Billy Lane killed another person and he’s going to pay his debt to society. Justice has worked in this situation!

  11. Listen people…None of you can judge Mr Lane or Mr Morelock. They were both in the wrong on mulitple levels and death and/or jail time should be the least of their worries. They both have to answer to the LORD!

    10 Commandments:
    The sixth of the ten commandments reads, “Thou shall not kill.” The New International Version translates it, “Thou shall not murder.”

    God Bless All of you!

  12. Thank God they locked up this Billy Boy cave man.
    Not only is he an idiot but his so called custom motorcyles sucked too.
    Jesse James is another moron that needs to be caged.
    His bikes suck too.

  13. I think its important to realize that, even tho Billy is a celebrity, even tho he has lots of money, he is still a person, and people make mistakes. we as people rely on the law to punish people accordingly for their mistakes. put yourself in his position, same amount of money, same amount of fame, you’re tellin me you’re not gonna do everything you can to get off, or get a lesser sentance? thats right you are. do you know why? cause you’re a person too. the only people that want to see him burn, are the people that are affraid to admit that they have made big mistakes too.

  14. Bill..Billy HAD a lot of money. It is all gone I am sure. he had to pay off Gerald’s family, and his lawyers.
    I have NEVER made a big mistake. Sure in my checking account, but never one that took someones life. I also, as most here, do NOT want to see Billy burn! Just to pay for his crime, and it was a crime. no more, no less. let him pay, do his time, get out and start his live over. Hopefully with a new respect for what his actions can do to others and to himself! No one wanted this for Billy OR Gerald. But it happened and Billy caused it. We all want him to just serve his sentence, get out and do some more of his bike magic! Just don’t do the crazy things he thought put him above the rest of the world. Look what that did. Killed one man, and messed up Billy’s life and that of his family!. I am not one that wants him to suffer, but he needs to pay for what he did. Then I want him to turn his life around, build his great bikes and LEARN from his mistake. Please don’t every again think you are above it all, and yes, Billy did. And lastly, don’t lump everyone into the “you did something at one point so Billy should be allowed to what? Kill a man”?… That is so not cool. I want the best for Billy, his family AND Gerald’s family.
    Merry Christmas to all.

  15. Did everyone forget that the other guy was drunk also? Nobody is perfect, but saying Billy deserves to die is like saying “well Gerry was drunk so guess he had it coming”, shit happens and it suck’s, but it’s time to let Billy and Gerry’s family move on.

  16. billy lane made a mistake!
    thats the bottom line!!!!!
    he is a talented and inspiring builder who has touched our lives!!!!!!!
    im sure he is not happy about what happened so leave him alone!!

  17. There are many guys in jail who are remorseful and think to themselves everyday; damm I wish I had not pulled that damm trigger. I wish I had one more chance.

    Forgiveness is one thing; justice is another.

    We all make choices in life that not only affect our lives, but the lives of others. Billy Lane made a choice that day which killed another man, a biker. For this he needs to pay. There is a guy mulching in his grave right now because Billy Lane decided to get drunk and drive. There is a guy who will not be able to ride again, who will not see the sunset again, who will not be able to make love again, a guy who will not be able to enjoy the simple things in life because Billy Land decided to get drunk and drive one day.

    Justice needs to be done.


  18. Steven you were the first one to catch the nuance of what I was writing. You are right; everyone who kills without just cause needs to be punished!

    The reason I emphasize bikers being killed as opposed to non bikers on this blog, is because this blog is biker and motorcycle related. Furthermore, there is a disproportionate number of the number of motorcycle cycle accidents that lead to fatalities, as opposed to other motor vehicle accidents that are caused by cagers as opposed to other fatal vehicle accidents, which I admit are also reprehensible especially if caused by some drunk.

    My aim is to draw attention to the biker and motorcycle cause because I not only handle these cases, but I also have my ass on the line riding my Harley Davidson, and don’t want to end up like the many I represent, know about, and hear about.

    On my California Personal Injury Lawyer Blog located at http://www.calinjuryblog.com I go into other types of fatal accidents that may not be appropriate on this forum.


  19. Well USMVMCMOJO/ R.Llanes if Lane ran into your ass while you were out riding your bike and turned you into mush all over his truck grill, I guess we should just feel sorry for him as well, and just call it a day because he was just drinking like everyone else right? Wrong?

    There is no excuse for drinking and driving, especially when you kill a biker doing so. I don’t give a shit if it is Lane or the Pope.


  20. Leo I edited out your bashing of other readers on the blog and the insult you made to my religion out of your post.

    Here is the bottom line people, I will keep comments open on this issue but I am not going to tolerate bashers who will not intelligently argue their position without bashing people who disagree.

    The way I see it Leo, Billy Lane killed a fellow biker and now he needs to pay. He plead guilty. If you kill someone you need to pay. If you are willing to risk your freedom and the lives of others just to get fucked up and drive, you deserve whatever you get.

    Not everyone is willing to risk some-one’s life for a fucking buzz. If everyone had this attitude we would have a fucked up society full of drunks taking people out on the road.


  21. There is no excusing Morelock, I am sure he would have got a D.U.I. if he was not killed by Lane. Although Morelock was also drinking and driving, he was not the one who crossed a double yellow line with a beefy pickup truck and smashed into someone.

    I once represented a gal who was drunk with her 6 kids in a van. She was driving on the freeway at night. She was rear ended by a big rig truck due to no fault of her own. She and her kids were horribly injured. After she was treated at the hospital, she was arrested for D.U.I, and convicted of D.U.I. Nonetheless, in the personal injury case I got her and her kids a bunch of money. She may have been drunk, but she was not at fault in the accident. The same is true for Morelock.

    Morelock was the victim of a wrongful death due to no fault of his own.

    Again folks, the issue is this, would you want to have some drunk SOB cross into your line and kill you just because getting buzzed was more important than you? Is our lives that cheap these days?


  22. I hear you Buddah. Using the rear end analogy, here in California I got the drunk who was rear ended a substantial amount of money. She went to jail and her kids were taken by the department of children services because she was drinking and driving, but she was not nor could not be found at fault in a rear ender accident.

    It is an interesting legal theory re: breaking the law by being behind the wheel in the first place. However if the drunk was not hurt than you are probably talking about a criminal case. What if the drunk was walking in a sidewalk and got hit? Are you going to deny justice because they should not be drunk in public?

    In the end, Morelock would have died whether he was drunk or not in this case. That is why Lane needs to pay.


  23. I do not practice in Florida so I cannot really comment on what may happen on appeal there. I will say this, in most jurisdictions so long as a Judge is acting within the sentencing laws, a sentence will not be overturned on appeal.


  24. june 25th 2006 he refused to take a breathalyzer in north carolina. so his florida license was suspended he shouldn’t have been driving anyway his jail sentencing was mandatory he is right where he belongs.

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