New information uncovered by 11Alive reveals that a man, accused of hitting and killing a toddler in a grocery store parking lot while allegedly under the influence, had two previous DUI charges against him dropped.
James Holcomb was charged Tuesday in an accident that left 3-year-old Easton Cain pinned between two vehicles. Witnesses rushed to try to help the boy, but were unable to save him.
Holcomb, the son of a White County Commissioner, had a history of alcohol and drug-related offenses, but 11Alive’s Valerie Hoff learned that some of them were never prosecuted.
According to court records, the 36-year-old had been previously arrested for DUIs in 2001, 2002, and 2008. The first time Holcomb, also known as Jay, was arrested for the charge, he wasn't even old enough to drink alcohol. Yet that case, and a 2002 accident and DUI, were never prosecuted and subsequently dismissed by a judge in 2005 because the two-year statute of limitations had expired.
Holcomb's case file in the White County Clerk's Office also indicates he was arrested for Marijuana possession and driving under the influence in 2003. He pleaded guilty in exchange for probation, but was later jailed for violating the terms of his probation by smoking marijuana and failing to perform community service.
He had yet another DUI and accident in 2008 and got probation in exchange for going into an alcohol and drug treatment program. Holcomb's father, County Commissioner Lyn Holcomb posted bond for him in three of those four cases.
11Alive tried to talk to the commissioner at several Holcomb family properties Friday but were turned away. Hoff was able to track down the attorney who was the Assistant D.A. in White County when those two DUIs went unprosecuted. Gerald Bruce told 11Alive by phone he doesn't remember why that happened, but both he and a legal expert Lawrence Zimmerman say it's unusual for a D.A. to let the statute of limitations expire in a DUI case.
Meanwhile the family of 3-year-old Easton Cain is planning his funeral. The service will be held in Cleveland, Ga. Sunday afternoon.