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Jun 24, 2009 1:44 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Indictment unsealed in Hampton Bays Diner stabbing case

Jun 24, 2009 1:44 PM

A Suffolk County grand jury indictment was unsealed on Monday charging 25-year-old Jermaine D. Holmes of Riverhead with murder in the second degree in connection with the stabbing death of Calvin Butts outside of the Hampton Bays Diner on Memorial Day weekend.

Mr. Holmes turned himself in to Suffolk County Police homicide investigators on June 1 and was arraigned the same day in Southampton Town Justice Court. He was ordered held without bail in Suffolk County Jail in Riverside.

At Monday’s indictment in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead, he was arraigned and ordered held without bail once again.

Mr. Holmes’s attorney, Susan Menu, said she requested Judge James F.X. Doyle set her client’s bail at $25,000, but she admitted she was not surprised when Judge Doyle ordered Mr. Holmes remanded, citing the severity of the crime he is charged with.

“It’s our position that Mr. Holmes is not guilty of murder in the second degree,” Ms. Menu said. She said turning himself in was only an acknowledgment that police were looking for him and he did not admit to any crime nor make any statements to police.

According to Detective Lieutenant Jack Fitzpatrick, Mr. Holmes and Mr. Butts had both been inside the Hampton Bays Diner in the early morning hours of May 24 before stepping outside, where a fight broke out at around 4 a.m. Det. Lt. Fitzpatrick said Mr. Butts, 26, a 2001 graduate of Riverhead High School, was stabbed multiple times. The detective lieutenant said he does not know why the fight started.

This is not Mr. Holmes’s first interaction with the justice system. In April 2003, he was arrested and charged with two counts each of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree with intent to sell, both felonies. Mr. Holmes pleaded guilty in August 2004 to a reduced charge, attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. The drug was cocaine, according to court documents. He was sentenced to six months in prison, a six-month suspension of his driver’s license and five years’ probation.

And on March 22, Mr. Holmes was pulled over and charged with DWI, driving while impaired by drugs and related charges. He pleaded guilty on May 21 to reduced charges of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the second degree and driving while ability impaired by drugs and alcohol, both misdemeanors.

On May 27, three days after the stabbing, a court issued a violation of probation warrant against Mr. Holmes.

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