Juan Miquell Hollis, 35, of 10610 North 30th Street, Tampa, Florida was sentenced today in Houston County Superior Court to serve 16 years in prison without the possibility of parole. Hollis pled guilty to a single count of Burglary for his involvement in a break-in at Ambiance Fashions, then located on Watson Boulevard, on March 10, 2010. Hollis and a second male co-defendant were caught on video using a sledge hammer to smash the glass in the front door of the business, entering and exiting the building carrying numerous clothing items, practically cleaning out the store in three minutes.
Hollis and the codefendant then fled to Florida in a rented SUV where they were stopped for speeding 3 hours later. Clothing bearing Ambiance tags, a sledge hammer, and glass fragments were found in the vehicle. Glass from the hammer, vehicle, Hollis' shoes, and the codefendant's shoes were later matched by the state crime lab with the broken glass from Ambiance.
Chief Judge George F. Nunn, Jr. sentenced Hollis to a total of 20 years and required that he serve 16 of those years in prison without the possibility of parole. Hollis had 9 prior felony convictions, 3 of which were for burglaries at other stores, and which meant that the court treated him as a recidivist. When he is finally released from prison at age 51, Hollis will be banished from not only Houston County, but also from all contiguous counties. He will be prohibited from having any contact with his co-defendant or from committing any crimes of theft or burglary.
COMMENTS FROM ADA MCCOY: The defendant and his attorney argued against a lengthy prison sentence, despite the defendant's prior criminal record, saying that this was a nonviolent offense. They argued that prison would only further corrupt the defendant. The judge's sentence made it clear that burglary is a serious offense and will be sentenced accordingly.
COMMENTS FROM DISTRICT ATTORNEY GEORGE HARTWIG III: While property crimes may be nonviolent, they are certainly not victimless. Property crimes disrupt the lives and livelihood of their victims who are hard working and law abiding citizens. These victims want and deserve the same justice as victims of other types of crimes. Today, they got it.
Defense attorney Russell Walker represented Hollis. Assistant District Attorney Venita S. McCoy represented the State. Please contact ADA McCoy with any questions at 478-218-4810 or 478-335-7494