$600k+ likely lost bailing out lottery winner’s boyfriend

Published: Dec. 30, 2015 at 7:24 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 3, 2016 at 7:23 PM EST
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BOLIVIA, NC (WECT) - It's an unusual scenario. Typically, people with bonds over a million dollars are unable to bail out of jail while awaiting trial on their charges. But when your girlfriend wins the lottery, everything changes.

Marie Holmes made national headlines last February after winning a $188 million Powerball jackpot.

Since then, her live-in boyfriend Lamarr McDow has been stealing the spotlight for his run-ins with the law and his ability to get out of jail on sky high bonds.

Just after her big win, McDow was able to make a $3 million bond in March. He'd been in jail for heroin trafficking charges from 2014.

McDow was re-arrested during a raid in July, for violating his pre-trial release. Holmes was also cited during that raid. Court documents show officers found weapons and drugs in their home in Shallotte.

McDow was put back in jail under a $6 million bond. He posted bail again in early August.

A warrant was issued December 26 for McDow's arrest on misdemeanor charge of conspiring to arrange a street race. He was booked into the Brunswick County Jail on Tuesday - this time under a $12 million bond.

If a defendant violates the terms of their pre-trial release and has to go back to jail, attorneys explained their bond amount automatically doubles.

According to court documents, McDow was required to wear an ankle bracelet under the terms of his pre-trial release. The agreement essentially puts him on house arrest. He is allowed to go to work, to church on Sunday morning, to the doctor and to court.

Lt. Steve Lanier with the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office said GPS monitoring equipment shows McDow violated the terms of that agreement by going somewhere other than those approved locations.

So now, many are wondering if McDow will come up with the funds to make the $12 million bail. They're also curious how much has already been lost bailing him out over the last year.

Bail bondsmen in the Brunswick County area said a non-refundable fee is required when hiring a bondsman to post bail. Historically, it's been about 10 percent of the total bond amount, but on large bonds that fee is often negotiated to a lower percentage.

Bondsmen say it's rare for the fee to go below 7 percent in Brunswick County. Using that figure, McDow and his supporters have likely spent $630,000 in fees that they will never see again to make the $3 million bail in March and the $6 million bail in August.

That money is gone, but McDow is back in jail.

Defendants have the option to bypass bail bondsmen by writing a check to the clerk of court for the full amount of the bond, rather than a percentage of the bond amount. The defendant or his financial supporter would get all that money back if he showed up for court as promised, but risk losing the full amount if he does not show up for court.

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