Man convicted in DUI fatality on Brooks Street requests driving privileges

2011-11-24T07:00:00Z 2012-09-13T05:55:14Z Man convicted in DUI fatality on Brooks Street requests driving privilegesBy GWEN FLORIO of the Missoulian
November 24, 2011 7:00 am  • 

Brian Holm, who has yet to go to prison after being convicted in August of driving drunk and killing a pedestrian, wants to remove his alcohol-monitoring bracelet and start driving again.

"I have had tremendous expenses because I have to pay thousands of dollars a year for a SCRAM bracelet and to pay people to transport me," Holm wrote in a motion filed this week in Missoula County District Court.

Because he can't work, he requires a public defender, an expense to taxpayers, Holm noted in his motion.

A Missoula County District Court jury convicted Holm, 52, of Lolo, of vehicular homicide in the death of 23-year-old Brian Beaver of Aberdeen, Wash. Beaver and two friends were walking along Brooks Street near Paxson on Nov. 9, 2010, when the car Holm was driving drifted into oncoming traffic, then jumped the curb, striking Beaver.

Missoula County District Court Judge Dusty Deschamps sentenced Holm to 30 years in prison with 15 suspended, but delayed sending him to prison pending an appeal. Holm hasn't formally sought his appeal yet, but filed several motions in Missoula County District Court seeking to put aside his conviction.

On Tuesday, Deputy Missoula County Attorney Shawn Thomas asked that all of those claims be dismissed, saying Holm's only legitimate route is an appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, in one of two motions filed Monday, Holm repeated his longstanding refrain that he wasn't impaired the night of the accident, despite a blood-alcohol level of 0.10, above the legal driving limit of 0.08. He'd also taken prescription sleep and pain medications, as well as an antidepressant.

"There is no evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that my ability to safely drive on Nov. 9, 2010, was diminished at all," Holm wrote in his motion. "I will never drink and drive again. I will never drink again ever. This harrowing experience has taught me that even if my ability to safely drive is not diminished, it is not worth driving ever if one has had anything to drink."

He also stated that the Nov. 9 accident was the only one of his life. However, he has a previous DUI conviction on his record.

Brian Beaver's sister, Teesha Beaver, said that if Deschamps grants Holm's request, "he himself is condoning the actions that have taken place."

"My personal opinion is the only reason Holm hasn't drank and drove since the accident is because of the bracelet," she said Wednesday. "I see nothing but bad with the bracelet being removed."

Holm's other motion repeats a request for transcripts of his case for use in his appeal - and also revisits his earlier slams against public defender Scott Spencer, who represented him at trial.

Indigent defendants are entitled to such transcripts. But Holm's previous request for transcripts was denied earlier this month, when Deschamps wrote that "the defendant appears to have the ability to pay an attorney to advise him, ghost-write legal documents for him and even order transcripts for him."

Holm denied all of those things, writing, "If I had the ability to pay an attorney, I would have paid an attorney to represent me in lieu of Scott Spencer. I am confident that if I had had a competent attorney, I would not have been convicted."

Holm wrote that he can't afford an attorney.

"Furthermore, my expenses are extraordinarily huge due to the fact that I have to pay other people for transportation and I have to pay $300 per month for the SCRAM bracelet. All of this renders me even more impoverished."

Holm has represented himself since his trial, and said that if he hadn't waived his right to a public defender, he'd be eligible for the state-funded transcript.

"It would not be fair to deny me the right to a transcript just because I had to waive my right to counsel because my counsel betrayed me and was hostile towards me and refused to properly represent me," he wrote. "Now, I not only have no attorney, but do not have a transcript, either."

In order to present his appeal to the Supreme Court, Holm wrote that he needs a court order so the Supreme Court administrator can arrange to pay for the transcript, which he needs by Monday.

Reporter Gwen Florio can be reached at 523-5268, or


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