Gadsden County Commissioner Found Not Guilty

By: Jerry Askin, Eyewitness News Team Email
By: Jerry Askin, Eyewitness News Team Email

November 16, 2011 at 6:20pm by Jerry Askin

It took the jury about 30 minutes to bring back a not guilty verdict in a case involving Gadsden County commissioner Brenda Holt and what took place back in March at Club Sugars.

"I'm happy about the not guilty verdict because I was not guilty," says Holt.

Gadsden County Commissioner Brenda Holt and several others celebrated outside the courthouse Wednesday. She says Alphonzo Robinson touched her breast inappropriately the night of March 20 at the nightclub she owns in Quincy known as Sugars.

"You don't touch me anywhere I don't want to be touched. And that's with any other women in this country," says Holt.

Holt says Robinson came in the club unruly and disruptive. Robinson testified in court that the commissioner hit him and bruised his arm with a microphone. He says he was never intoxicated that night and disagrees with the verdict.

"I never touched her, and she know I never touched her. And that's just a flat out lie," says Robinson.

Sam Hawkins monitored surveillance cameras in the club, but was not there the night of the incident. He testified in court that he saw the video and it shows Holt hit Robinson on the arm.

But several bartenders working at the club that night said they never saw Holt hit Robinson.

"She has a right to stand her ground in her place of business. She didn't have to turn around and take that. She's perfectly within her right to resist," says defense attorney Richard Smith.

"A woman has a right to defend herself from sexual advancement, unwanted sexual advancements from anyone," says Holt.

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Nov. 16, 2011 -- 3:40pm

Brenda Holt has been found not guilty of battery.

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Nov. 16, 2011 - 2:30pm

Closing arguments are going on right now. Then the jury is expected to come back with a verdict later today.
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Nov. 16, 2011 - 10am

Gadsden County Commissioner Brenda Holt is before a judge now. She's been charged with battery accused of hitting Alphonzo Robinson with a microphone on March 20th at her night club "Sugars."

Holt claims she asked Robinson to leave because he was drunk and was being disruptive.

Robinson is testifying right now.

We will bring you more on this story later on Eyewitness News.

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UPDATE 04-11-2011 at 5:30pm by Jerry Askin

Gadsden County Commissioner Brenda Holt turns herself in on battery charges. She's accused of striking a man at the bar she owns in Quincy.

52-year old Alphonzo Robinson claims Commissioner Holt hit him on his right arm with a microphone while he was at her business "Sugars" the night of March 20th.

John Battles, a resident of Gadsden County says, "The first thing that went through my head even though i was not there was it's got to be more to this that what I'm hearing."

Holt filed a witness statement at the Quincy Police Department saying she noticed Robinson yelling and being disruptive during a birthday party at her club. She says when Robinson turned towards her, he touched her breast with his hand and noted he had been drinking.

Holt goes on to say, "When he touched my breast I swung my arm to remove his hand from my chest." And she says she was holding the microphone in her hand.

Battles says, "Everyone should have the right to defend themselves when they're being intruded upon and that's what I believe Commissioner Holt did."

Probable cause documents show Robinson asked Holt that night why she hit him, and she responded demanding he leave and never to return to Sugars again.

We reached out to both Brenda Holt and Alphonzo Robinson personally to get their sides of the story, they both declined an on-camera interview.

The Quincy Police Department investigated the case and has turned it over to the State Attorney's Office for further review.

Holt was released from the Gadsden County Jail Friday minutes after she turned herself in to authorities. Her court date has not yet been set.

We'll bring you more information as it becomes available.
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[UPDATE] 4-11 Noon -

A Gadsden County Commissioner turns herself in to authorities on Friday, April 8. Brenda Holt is accused of hitting a man with a microphone at her Quincy business.

Commissioner Brenda Holt currently faces a charge of misdemeanor battery. A report filed by 52-year old Alphonzo Robinson says that Holt hit him with a microphone during an incident at her Quincy-owned club Sugars. They say it happened on the night of March 20th.

Brenda Holt's attorney says that night she asked Robinson to leave because he was drunk and being disruptive. Holt's attorney also says the man went to the police the next day and accused her of hitting him with a microphone after an incident at the club.

Holt has been released from the Gadsden County Jail, and a court date has not been set. The Quincy Police Department investigated the case and has turned it over to the state attorney's office for review.

Coming up later on Eyewitness News, we'll have reaction from residents about this incident.

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Gadsden County Commissioner Brenda Holt was arrested and released on her own recognizance on Friday, after turning herself in at the Gadsden County Jail

Holt's attorney Stephen Webster says she was arrested on a charge of misdemeanor battery.

He says that the charge stems from an incident more than a week ago at Holt's club called Sugar's. He says Holt asked a patron to leave because he was drunk and being disruptive.

Holt's attorney also says the man went to the police the next day and accused her of hitting him with a microphone.

Holt is the first black woman elected to the Gadsden County Commission and serves District 4.


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