Society

Powerball Winner May Have Spent $21 Million To Bail Out 'Gang Member' Boyfriend

| by Kathryn Schroeder
Marie Holmes and Lamarr McDowMarie Holmes and Lamarr McDow

The North Carolina mother of four who won a $188 million Powerball lottery jackpot in February 2015 may have spent $21 million of her winnings to bail her live-in 'gang member' boyfriend out of jail.

Marie Holmes paid a $3 million bond in March to have boyfriend Lamarr McDow released from jail for heroin trafficking charges from 2014, WECT reported.

In July 2015, he was arrested again during a raid for violating his pre-trial release. Officers who raided the couple’s home found weapons and drugs, causing them to cite Holmes as well, according to WECT. McDow was remanded to jail but his $6 million bond was posted in early August, possibly by Holmes.

Then, on Dec. 26, 2015, a warrant was issued for McDow’s arrest on a misdemeanor charge of conspiring to arrange a street race, reported WECT.

The amount of his bond was set at $12 million when he was booked into the Brunswick County Jail on Dec. 29, 2015.

Court documents show that McDow was on house arrest, requiring him to wear an ankle bracelet. He was allowed to go to work, church on Sunday morning, the doctor, and court, reported WECT. But according to Lt. Steve Lanier with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, GPS monitoring equipment shows McDow violated the terms of his house arrest by going to places that were not approved.

His $12 million bail was posted on Jan. 1 by Holmes, WNCN reported, bringing the total she may have spent to $21 million in less than a year to keep her boyfriend out of prison.

McDow has a history of convictions, according to North Carolina Department of Public Safety records. They include assault inflicting serious injury, assault on a female, and several felony drug possession convictions, reported Star News Online. He served eight months in jail from 2008 to 2009 after being convicted of felony possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

Brunswick Sheriff’s officials believe McDow to be a gang member, according to Star News Online.

Holmes accepted an $88 million lump sum payment for her jackpot, bringing the total she may have paid for McDow’s run-ins with the law to more than 25 percent of her winnings.

Given the non-refundable fee set by bail bondsmen, which is normally around 10 percent according to WECT, Holmes may be out as much as $2.1 million regardless of whether McDow is convicted.

Sources: WECT, Star News Online, WNCN / Photo credit: WNCN