Ohio arsonist pleads
An Ohio fugitive pleaded no contest Friday to fleeing from a South Lake Tahoe police officer.
Erie County authorities had been searching for Lynn A. Holdren, an admitted arsonist, for three weeks when he showed up in South Lake Tahoe at the end of October. The FBI issued an unlawful flight to avoid prosecution warrant for Holdren after he failed to show up for his Ohio sentencing.
Holdren was charged with two counts of aggravated arson for setting fire to his home in Sandusky, Ohio. Investigators said the fire had multiple points of origin and explosive devices were used. Holdren was charged with a first-degree felony in the case because of the risk to firefighters.
South Lake Tahoe Officer Don Zlendick attempted to stop Holdren, 56, after spotting his truck at the corner of U.S. Highway 50 and Ski Run Boulevard. Zlendick checked the truck’s Ohio license plates and found them stolen. Holdren fled and a pursuit began through the residential streets off of Ski Run. Holdren eventually crashed into a power pole at the corner of Wildwood and Paradise avenues.
Investigators said Holdren backed his truck into Zlendick when he got out of his patrol car. The officer was knocked to the ground and briefly lost his gun. When Zlendick retrieved his weapon Holdren surrendered. Zlendick’s hand and wrist were injured during the incident.
Holdren pleaded to the felony charge of eluding an officer. Other charges of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer and resisting arrest are scheduled to be dismissed at Holdren’s sentencing on April 28. He is facing eight years in a California State Prison for the Oct. 28 incident. There will also be a hearing April 28, on Holdren’s fugitive warrant. He faces a possible 18-year sentence in Ohio for the arson convictions.
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