East Palo Alto man pleads not guilty to church beatings

Man allegedly attacked his mother and ex-girlfriend in St. Samuel Church-God in Christ

A 53-year-old East Palo Alto man charged with attacking his ex-girlfriend and his 77-year-old mother during a church function in May pleaded not guilty in San Mateo County Superior Court on Tuesday, May 20.

Leonard Dwayne Holt was on probation for a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction and had a no-contact order when he allegedly angrily charged into St. Samuel Church-God in Christ on the 1100 block of East Bayshore Road on May 15 at 2:30 p.m. He allegedly confronted his ex-girlfriend during a church function where she was volunteering.

Holt believed she had talked negatively about him, according to the San Mateo District Attorney's Office. Holt allegedly chased her into the church hall kitchen and around folding tables before knocking her to the ground, punching and kicking her.

Holt's elderly mother was present at the function and tried to get him to stop beating his ex-girlfriend. He allegedly knocked his mother to the ground and repeatedly kicked her. He then allegedly picked up a folding table and hit his ex-girlfriend with the table before fleeing.

Police located Holt the next day and arrested him. He is charged with one count each of: assault with great bodily injury; inflicting great bodily injury on an elder; assault with a deadly weapon; and causing corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition on a person with whom he had a relationship. All four are felonies.

The court appointed the Private Defender Program to represent him. He will appear for a preliminary hearing on May 29. Holt is being held on $75,000 bail, and he remains in custody.


Posted by stephanie Smith, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 23, 2014 at 9:20 pm

How sad for your own son to inflict great bodily harm to his mother. I personally know Mr. Holt, and this is so sad to know that he would even entertain the idea of doing such an cowardily act towards any femaie less known that it is Mother. Just speechless. My prayers are for Mrs. Holt and the other female victim that is involved. May you both recuperate 100 percent Mentaly and physicaly. What the hell was Mr. Holt thinking,??? [Portion removed.] I pray that he does recieve some Mental help, May God Bless the Victims.

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