Pro-choice man who pulled a gun at abortion clinic gets 13 years in prison

Man gets prison for attempting to force abortion
Lawyer: Fetus wasn’t hurt so 13-year sentence is too harsh
Friday, June 10, 2011 03:08 AM

L. Holt-Reid
A man who admitted taking his pregnant girlfriend to an abortion clinic at gunpoint was sentenced yesterday to 13 years in prison, despite his attorney’s contention that the incident was a “run-of-the-mill domestic-violence case.”

Dominic L. Holt-Reid, 28, pleaded guilty in April to attempted murder under an Ohio law that allows such a charge when a criminal act is committed that could lead to the death of a fetus. He also pleaded guilty to abduction and illegally possessing a gun.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien asked for the maximum sentence of 20 years. Defense attorney Larry Shoemaker argued for a lesser sentence, saying Holt-Reid should have been charged with misdemeanor counts of coercion, aggravated menacing and domestic violence.

Holt-Reid was arrested on Oct. 6 after he pointed a handgun at Yolanda Burgess and drove her to an East Side abortion clinic for a scheduled appointment after she told him she didn’t want to go through with the procedure. The clinic staff called police after Burgess passed them a note saying she had been threatened.
Police found Holt-Reid in the parking lot with a .45-caliber handgun in his waistband.

“He needs to be punished for what he did to Miss Burgess, but not for the fetus,” Shoemaker told Common Pleas Judge Pat Sheeran. “There was no violence of any sort against the fetus, and he needs to be sentenced appropriately.”

Sheeran disagreed with Shoemaker’s argument, sentencing Holt-Reid to five years for attempted murder, five years for abduction and three years for the weapons charge. Holt-Reid wasn’t allowed to have a gun because he was convicted of a federal drug charge in 2007.

Burgess didn’t attend the hearing but provided a lengthy statement in which she said the incident left her with high blood pressure and other stress-related problems.
“Dominic had given me an ultimatum: It was either him or our baby,” she wrote. “Of course, I wanted both. However, I am not a weak, needy or desperate woman willing to hurt my child for a man.”

Burgess eventually delivered a healthy baby, one of two she has with Holt-Reid.

Holt-Reid, formerly of Kelton Avenue on the Near East Side, made a brief statement in court, saying he was sorry and wants “to move past all this to continue my education, better myself and get back to my children.”

Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Rausch said Holt-Reid has not showed any remorse and was violent toward Burgess in the days leading up to the trip to the abortion clinic.
Shoemaker said his client “vehemently denies” pointing the gun at Burgess. After the hearing, he said Holt-Reid agreed to the plea to escape additional weapons charges that could have resulted in an even lengthier sentence.

He said Holt-Reid will apply for judicial release when he becomes eligible in four years.

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One Response to “Pro-choice man who pulled a gun at abortion clinic gets 13 years in prison”

  1. “There was no violence of any sort against the fetus,” this man’s lawyer asserted. What a false claim: the abortion the perpetrator was attempting to force his girlfriend to have would have killed the unborn child.

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