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ONLY ON 3: Did Assistant District Attorney mess up another DWI case in Brunswick County?

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: Did Assistant District Attorney mess up another DWI case in Brunswick County?

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Remember the story we told you about a few weeks back about the Oak Island Fire Chief whose DWI appeal got thrown out of court? It was because the assistant district attorney handling the case was not prepared for court. Well, we've learned that the ADA may have messed up another DWI charge this week.

The case involves a man named Mark Twain Patrick, II. He's no stranger to law enforcement around the area. When we printed off his rap sheet, it was more than 25 pages long. In his latest brush with the law court papers say he was drinking and driving a stolen motorcycle, and when an officer went to pull him over, Patrick tried to run. Sounds like a cut and dry case, but the same assistant district attorney, Erin Holden, who messed up Oak Island Fire Chief John House's appeal, may have messed this one up, too.

Here's what we've learned: Patrick was charged with a DWI (he blew .04), reckless driving, stealing the bike and trying to run from police. First holden went to present evidence for the DWI charge. The officer who pulled him over reported that Patrick was driving on the wrong side of the road, wouldn't stop for blue lights and sirens, smelled like he'd been drinking and admitted he was on Percocet, but the charge got thrown out for lack of evidence.

So we move on to the other felony charges: stealing the motorcycle, trying to run from the officer and reckless driving. First paperwork shows Holden voluntarily dismissed the reckless driving charge from the lower District Court, because, according to legal experts we talked with, she thought she had a stronger case with the other charges in Superior Court. To convict Patrick on fleeing from the officer, Holden had to prove two things: first that he was driving recklessly and second that he was driving with a revoked license. Holden requested Patrick's driving record from the state, which does show it had been revoked. But here's where it gets confusing. For some reason Holden couldn't satisfy the court with enough evidence that it had been revoked, even though the paperwork clearly shows it is, so that charge got dropped down to a misdemeanor.

All in all, when this hearing started Patrick faced his fifth DWI charge and two other felony charges. But after the dust settled, all he got was a traffic ticket, three days in jail and he's now on probation.

We asked Holden's boss, District Attorney Rex Gore, to help us understand how all that happened. He e-mailed back that he would like to meet with us next week, and in the meantime, he'll review the case. But get this: While Gore's been DA, Patrick's been charged at least 30 times with everything from assault and battery to stealing a gun to hit and run. Twenty of those charges, for whatever reason, were dismissed by the DA's office before they even got to trial, so all that's on his record are two DWI's, one in Brunswick County and one in Texas, and a conviction for assaulting an officer.

Score one for Holden, though. Late this afternoon, Gore emailed us to let us know she got a DWI conviction today against a man driving a golf cart at Bald Head Island.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Please re-read the article

Please re-read the article again... one of the proof Ms. Holden had to satisfy was that the defendant was driving while revoked. She provided the paperwork from DMV in Raleigh to attest to this yet she didn't satisfy the "court" (the judge, really).

Vincent Bugliosi couldn't have prosecuted this case any better...

Maybe some of the collected rancor should be reserved for the judge who disregarded the evidence of this fine citizen with a 25 page police record's licence revocation.

I think that the wrong person is getting pelted with rotten fruit in the pillory this time around...

WWAY - Keep Going

For the folks complaining about a 'cheap' story and 'biased' reporting - please shut up. If not for this tv station, we would know nothing about what goes on in Brunswick County. This article is reporting what took place in a case. Simple. If you don't like the information, don't blame the news station. Give the reporter time, as one suggested. They may go deeper into the case - then you can complain about that, too.

As for Mr. Lewis, you are correct, these people are human, thanks for pointing that out so we'll know. I agreed up to the point where you told me how great and dedicated and all that other rot about Gore. We all know better, so save it for when you want to sell the Brooklyn Bridge. Since you are a lawyer, maybe you are trying to make points until Gore leaves - which won't be soon enough for many of us.

It IS true that too many times each week, no matter what the crime, nor how long the string of charges, people get off with "voluntarily dismissed." I don't know what happened exactly, but I'm not dumb. There are deals being made between judges and lawyers somewhere, somehow. There are certain lawyers whose reputations are that they go into the judge's office, and when they come out, the charges disappear. Don't bother to tell me it doesn't happen. It does. The paper bears that out each and every week.

I don't know how much is Holden's fault and how much was up to the judge. I know how several of the judges got where they are and what their reputations are. I know the 'system' here doesn't mind throwing anybody under the wheels. But we all do know who is in charge. Enough said.

Since when did people start

Since when did people start getting DWI's for blowing a .04 or was that a misprint? S/F ROGER FLEMING

Commercial license

If you have a class A or B license AND are driving a commercial vehicle then 0.04 is the limit. If underage then anything over 0.00 is chargeable.

Where the real blame should be applied.

Everyone wants to blame the DA, the Judge, the Police officers and totally forget to place blame on the offender. These idiot repeat offender DWI's are personal decisions made by the "offender". All of the laws, all of the convictions, beatings, MADD, DAMM, these pointless postings or anything else will do any good to stop this behavior. Lock them up 50 times, take their licenses, give them criminal records, it simply does not matter. These idiots make their own decisions to get behind the wheel when drunk. They are very similar to pedophiles, they have an incurable problem. The ONLY cure for a pedophile is to remove the equipment permanently.

I still say amputation of the feet and hands for a repeat DWI offender would ordered by the judge would be a very effective deterrant. The last time they would ever need handcuffs. In fact handcuffs wouldn't even work without hands.

Anybody got a problem with this form of preventative measure? Got any better ideas? We already know that what we already do doesn't work, so why beat a dead horse? Answer: The DWI conviction system is NOTHING more than a money generator for the county, state and the attorneys. It is totally ineffective to prevent drunk drivers!

Drunks in Brunswick co.

Look how many people have been killed just this past year by drunks in brunswick county ! The one I was referring to has been in and out of their court room for drunk driving at least 4 times over the last 2 yrs.
They always dismissed his charges, sent him on his merry way and now he has killed a young mother of three and still isn't in jail out there! House arrest & work release until trial time--whenever that may or may not be. So look out. there are killers on the roads and your family could be next!
It's as the highway patrol has said--THEY are strict on drunk driving---they set up DWI check points, stop the ones weaving down the rd . Arrest and charge them for DWI but once they get to court someone dismisses it and the drunks are back on the streets that night.
The man in the above story it says was up to his 5th DWI charge. Dismissed--ROFL.......He won't end up killing a family while they are driving to the park.
set him free and worry about a man driving drunk in a golf cart on an island with no cars or streets. yeah--he was dangerous! but the man out here with 5 DWI charges isn't? he is still on our highways.
I agree with the person above. If a repeat offender can't be punished in the court room and locked up awhile then cut off their hands so they can't drive!! They can still lap up the alcohol with their tongues like the dogs they are.


WWAY is really starting to aggravate me with the repeated personal attacks on the Brunswick County Court system. If there are problems they need to be fixed, but WWAY has neglected to do a little more investigating that would prove it is not a Brunswick County thing. These types of cases are dismissed repeatedly all over the state and therefore that is why there are so many repeat offenders. They should do a little checking into New Hanover, Pender, Columbus and Bladen Counties and I would assure them that the same problems go on there everyday.

DA and DUI's

My question for WWAY is what is the DUI conviction percentage in North Carolina? I would like to know that percentage and then compare it to Ms' Holden. All I know about this is what I have read. I know of three cases. The results were one conviction out of three or 33 1/3%. That sucks!! The convicton rate should never be no lower than 85% and should actually be higher than 90%. I am just curious.

I would think that as much time as WWAY is spending on getting the statistics for the best hot-dog, coffee, seafood, etc., etc., they could provide us with some actual statistics state(county) wide to compare DUI statistics.

I also wonder what MADD is thinking or doing about this. Maybe the new employee who could not answer any questions a few months ago can answer some now.

Erin Holden, Brunswick County ADA

I personally think your story about Erin Holden and the Brunswick County District Attorney's Office is biased and unfair. Every attorney loses a case once in awhile, even the best and most experienced attorneys. District attorneys and ADAs lose more than most, because, their duty is to prosecute people accused of crimes, only the shakiest cases make it to trial (the rest plead prior to trial) and the burden of proof for conviction at a criminal trial (beyond a reasonable doubt) is the toughest legal standard to meet.
I have known Rex Gore ever since I started practicing law in this area, almost twenty-eight years ago. Although he is a human being, like the rest of us, I have always known him to be well-meaning and moral. And unlike his predecessor and others of his and other elected positions, he has never seemed to me to have other political aspirations. He has taken his job seriously and, in my opinion, he has done well.
I have known Erin Holden ever since she has been with the District Attorney's Office. She takes all of her cases very seriously and she works tirelessly to prosecute those she is charged with prosecuting. I have tried more than one case against her.
The true test of how good a prosecutor is is not simply whether they obtain a conviction in a particular case. It is whether they do their job competently with the evidence they are able to present. It is also about how they deal with victims, witnesses, judges, defense attorneys and the public. It is about doing justice and doing their jobs. Erin Holden is also a human being, like me, but I would give her high marks as a prosecutor. I personally think your story is unfair. Perhaps you might think about making up for this unfairness by reporting about some of the cases she has won without doing so in such a facetious manner.

Mark Lewis

Brunswick co DWI

What in the world is wrong with the brunswick county court system or should I say the da's letting these drunk drivers and criminals off scott free so often?
This needs an external investigation. I know a man who has been in and out ofc their courts every other month cfor several years and the DA dismiss each and every charge until he finally killed someone and he is still not locked up ! oh, because anyone can bond out and continue to break the law and perhaps even kill another person while waiting to go to trial for the first murder.
what a bunch of bull ! This news story is a sick joke on society and that ass. d.a. should be fired.
read their court cases in the paper each week and 90 % of the cases say dismissed. EVERY week!! Why do law enforcement agencies bother to risk their lives to arrest and charge criminals just to have the people in the court room dismiss their charge? Do they think the officer didn't know what he was doing when he charged them? The man in the above story was charged 30 times just while Gore has been in office and 20 of those charges were dismissed?? What a joke!!! I doubt police officers etc made 20 mistakes in arresting this man....wake up people and do something ........

Brunswick ADA

The tenor of this article is totally unprofessional. Not only that, but you fail to ask the most important question regarding this case: who was the judge? Remember, district attorneys present evidence in court, judges and juries convict. Dig a little deeper and maybe you'll find the real story here, and it likely has nothing to do with this assistant district attorney.

IsShe a Blonde?

Hey Gore, when are you going to take some action against this very inept employee??? This really makes a mockery of the justice system. I guess if you want to get off go to BRunswick Co and you will get off.
How many more stupid and irresponsible mistakes will this employee make before there are some really tragic situations happen?
Get rid of her and Gore and get some real lawyers in if there is such a thing.

This is real simple to address

go to the NC State Bar Association. Request they review the professional standards, or lack of, for Ms. Holden. Let those folks, who have the authority to reprimand, and if necessary suspend law licenses and privileges, review the conduct of both Ms. Holden and her boss, Mr. Gore.

It's past due time when DWI charges are not taken seriously. How many must die or be seriously injured due to drivers who drink or huff?

Whoopee.......maybe she

Whoopee.......maybe she should join up with MADD. Sounds like she would fit right in. Totally useless and a waste of taxpayer money.

Court Case Dismissals

I've only lived here two years. I've never been in any kind of trouble in my life whatsoever with the law and have tried to teach my child to obey the laws, not use drugs, treat others with respect and so on. However, I'm starting to think that moving my child to Brunswick County was quite possibly the WORST thing I could have done in terms of her future. This county is consumed with drugs - and I've learned from friends that it's not uncommon for even the deacons at the Baptist Church to smoke pot. What has scared me the most, however, is having seen how easily young people can get out of trouble if they "know someone" in "high places." As a matter of fact, it's their delinquent friends' parents who are in many of these "high places." I don't know how to teach my child right from wrong when she has already witnessed that it really doesn't matter how you behave if you "know" someone who can get you out of any "trouble" you might get into. It's very disheartening, to say the least.


The streets of Bald Head Island are safe from the drunk golf cart driver. Score one victory for the rest of us in Brunswick County who has to be on the road with another drunk driver released because of this incompetent ADA. It sounds to me like someone needs to become another unemployment statistic. Hint, hint.

Don't Scoff

I can't believe anyone was arrested, much less found guilty in court, for committing any kind of crime on Bald Head Island. This IS quite a coup! My sister Davina, when she was a police officer there, was constantly brought onto the carpet for trying to give tickets for anything. That was before someone put a bullet in her head because she was getting ready to tell about the drug trade there. Hooray for something in this mess.