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.
______________________________________________________
[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.

___________________________________

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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by STATE WORKER Location: SOUTHWOOD on Nov 17, 2011 at 09:26 AM
    Well, Peanut looks like you will not be receiving a financial gain from this one...now you run along back to friendship with your stupid self. Never liked you and never will.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 18, 2011 at 07:12 AM in reply to STATE WORKER
      I am not so sure. I still think he was paid to do what he did.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 17, 2011 at 05:21 AM
    Brenda, You are a hero. You battle them once again in a small southern black town and won. Good job. I am proud of you. You make every women proud of you. You showed us all how to fight and win. Write your story so your grandchildren will know it. Especially your granddaughters. Today you became a legend.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 17, 2011 at 04:48 AM
    Ya'll don't know what ,ya'll taling about if ya'll wasn't there.Because if a man touches me in a wrong way I will hit him too.That's wrong with men's today they think they can do anything to us women's.We have to protect our self ladies.
  • by please sit down! Location: quincy on Nov 16, 2011 at 07:45 PM
    well peanut I guess you will sit your silly tail down! Your dollar didn't stretch far enough and the people that pushed you up to go this far where are they now. Like a little punk, talking about where you got hit. Stop acting like a sissy and go back to work cause you not getting paid! Your acting ability and or audition is not welcomed! Go back to friendship and try to get your wife and family back leave well enough alone! You silly rabbit tricks are for fools!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 17, 2011 at 04:57 AM in reply to please sit down!
      That right. I am glad they finally show you on tv.
  • by SLIM Location: MIDWAY,FL on Nov 16, 2011 at 06:38 PM
    I think Ms.Holt did that intentionally to that man and she be found guilty and out in jail.If it was one of us and we did it we wiuld most definetely be charged and all in the news. Ms. Holt is something else she pushed her boyfriend of of a ladder and broke his leg she hit that man and she should be prosecuted.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 17, 2011 at 04:28 AM in reply to SLIM
      I have no doubt she did it intentionally. You put your hands on my breast, I am going to intentionally hit you too. Your hands don't belong anywhere but on your person.
  • by Voice from the Past Location: Quincy on Nov 16, 2011 at 11:06 AM
    To bad it was not former commission Ed Dixon, He and Holt deserve to share a jail cell together. A match made in Heaven
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 17, 2011 at 04:30 AM in reply to Voice from the Past
      Why is the guy that sexually assaulted Brenda not in Jail? That is why women kill their abusers. The law does nothing to protect them and in this case they actually arrested the victim for fighting back.
    • reply
      by corrine on Nov 17, 2011 at 06:30 AM in reply to Voice from the Past
      Voice from the past...you mean Coward from the past. You make a statement like that and can't even sign your real name...cowards like you need to be in jail.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Nov 17, 2011 at 11:43 AM in reply to corrine
        He needs to be in jail. He sexually assaulted her and filed a false police report and suffer nothing consequences. Can you blame one for being scared of the men in this town. Anyone with common sense should be scared of them. What they did to her and the women paramedics is horrible. They are terrorist. Yes I am scared of them.
  • by TC Location: Gadsden Co on Nov 16, 2011 at 11:02 AM
    Waste of time and money..not guilty.. move on. Commissioner Holt has real business to deal with. Our county is in crisis!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 17, 2011 at 05:04 AM in reply to TC
      They are not going to leave her alone. She has to stand her ground and fight. If she moves on they are coming after her. She needs to go after them. Sue the Sheriff Office for False Arrest. Sue the perp. for sexual assault, emotional distress, filing a false police report, court cost, ect. You all print this comment. They are attacking these women in this community and they are going to continue attacking them if she does not bury them. Enough is enough
  • by Anonymous on Nov 16, 2011 at 10:19 AM
    I think the Gadsden County female employees need to to do a class action lawsuit against the county for allowing the sexual assaults to happen and doing nothing to protect from from further attack.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 16, 2011 at 10:09 AM
    She did not just go over there and hit him and you all know it. She has no history of assault and she had lived in this community for a long time. She carries herself as a professional and what urks me more than anything is the only man that stood up her was this Battles fellow. Not one white man in this town has public spoken up against the sexual assaults happening to women that work for this county. Brenda was not the 1st one to be sexually assaulted. You all keep being quiet and permitting this and the next time it will be your wife or your daughter. This is just not right and the southern men in this town need to stand up for the women being assaulted. I don't care what color you are. This is wrong to permit it. They are after her and you all know it. They sent him in there to do that to her because they lost the horse hope case and because she vote to fire the white county administrator they recruited from Alabama. This is wrong. I am just disgusted.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 16, 2011 at 09:51 AM
    This is unbelievably horrible what they are doing to this women. I don't care if you like or dislike her. She is professional. She is a retired educator who holds down to full time demanding jobs in retirement. It that speak of her character and professionalism and creditability I don't know what does. They need to her alone. This is just wrong. No man should be putting his hands on any women. I would have gone balistic. This is just wrong. He sexually assaulted. her
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