Detroit man avoids charge, wedding engagement in court

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

A 30-year-old Detroit man beat a charge of violation of probation and nullified his engagement with one fell swoop.

Hollins Hamilton, accused of violating the terms of his probation on multiple larceny charges for allegedly breaking windows of girlfriend’s home and car, appeared Friday at Frank Murphy Hall of Justice.

There, the prosecution played two 911 calls during which Hamilton's girlfriend identified him as standing outside of her home, breaking windows.

A Detroit police officer who took the call and met the victim at her mother's home testified that she saw the broken windows on the victim's car. But when asked if she saw the victim or her mother in the courtroom, she said she did not.

Despite being under subpoena, neither the victim nor her mother showed up in court Friday to testify against him.

Hamilton was arrested when he checked in with his probation officer.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Thomas Cameron said the prosecution failed to prove that Hamilton had violated his probation, but warned him that further appearances in court during his probation would be ill-advised.

Then the judge asked: Would a no-contact order between Hamilton and the complainant be a good idea?

The prosecution said it would request no such order, and the alleged victim made it clear she doesn't want to be prevented from having contact with Hamilton.

The prosecutor said she heard that the victim and Hamilton had since become engaged. But Hamilton disavowed it with a shake of his head.

In the end, a no-contact order would be pursued, but by the defense.

"I think that's a good idea," said Hamilton's attorney, William Winters.

Cameron agreed.

Hamilton had not violated his probation but the no-contact order was granted, ending what Winters described as a "tumultuous" relationship.

No-contact orders can be amended, Winters explained, but if nothing changes, the order will stand the balance of Hamilton's probation.

"Frankly, it's for his own protection," Winters said.