Tuesday, 18 June 2024

Clearlake woman sentenced to 11 years in prison for elder abuse, assault

COLUSA COUNTY – On Wednesday a Clearlake woman was sentenced to 11 years in state prison for an elder abuse and assault case in which the man she cared for died.

Last month, Linda Suzan Holloway was convicted of felony elder abuse and inflicting great bodily injury, with a strike enhancement for a previous robbery, according to Colusa County District Attorney John Poyner.

Colusa County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Thompson sentenced the 56-year-old Holloway to three years for elder abuse, which was doubled to six years due to the strike enhancement, with five years for the great bodily injury charge, Poyner said.

Holloway's sentence comes nearly three years after 76-year-old William Lowe was found dead in his Colusa home, Poyner explained.

Lowe and Holloway were romantically involved, and Poyner said Holloway – a licensed vocational nurse – also served as Lowe's caregiver.

Poyner said their relationship was filled with violence that took place both in Lake and Colusa counties.

The Lake County District Attorney charged Holloway with assault with a deadly weapon – in this case, two butcher knives – for a Sept. 27, 1999, assault on Lowe, according to court records.

Poyner said Holloway stabbed Lowe 14 times in that case. Despite that fact, Lowe begged not to have her sent to prison. That charge couldn't be used as a strike in the case, Poyner said.

Because of state rules, Lowe was able to keep Holloway as his caregiver despite the violence and criminal cases, Poyner said. In the mean time, she arranged to cut him off from his family.

On the night of July 26, 2006, Holloway was arrested for driving under the influence in Colusa County, Poyner said.

After getting out of jail the following day she went to Lowe's home and found his body. Poyner said she attempted to take an overdose afterward.

But the autopsy – which Poyner had reviewed by two separate pathologists – revealed that Lowe had bruises on his chin and head, and that he suffered from broken ribs.

The medical examination found that Lowe died of a heart attack. Poyner originally had charged Holloway with homicide and wanted to be able to prove that the heart attack was induced by an assault, which the pathologists' reports suggested.

However, Poyner said that everything that could go wrong with the case did, including the pathologist missing his court date and losing the microslides that Poyner wanted to use to discuss the heart attack's cause.

The result was that he didn't have the evidence to prove Lowe's heart attack had been induced by the assault, said Poyner.

“It was a nightmare case to do,” he said.

Lowe, who owned a taxi company, didn't have much money. Poyner said Holloway was found to have some of Lowe's possessions but Poyner didn't have enough evidence to pursue charges of theft.

Holloway told investigators three or four different stories about what happened between her and Lowe during their last encounter. Poyner said each story included more physical contact between the two.

Finally, she told one of Poyner's investigators, “When I left I hit him like a linebacker.”

In the interim, while the case was working its way through the courts, Holloway was charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol and received five years probation in February of 2008, Lake County Superior Court records show.

Poyner said of the case involving Lowe's death, “It's one of the screwiest cases I've ever tried.”

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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