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      Brunswick Powerball jackpot winner sued by incarcerated former fiancé

      Posted by Krys Merryman Wilmington StarNews on Thursday, March 3, 2022 Under: #EssexCounty

      A Brunswick lottery winner is being sued by her former fiancé.

      Fontella Marie Holmes won $188 million in the Powerball jackpot in Feb. 2015.

      Lamar McDow, 36, filed his first complaint against Holmes in Brunswick County Superior Court asserting claims for breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, and breach of bailment on Oct. 19, 2018, according to a motion to dismiss filed by Holmes. That complaint was voluntarily dismissed by McDow on June 25, 2019.

      McDow tried to revive the same complaint almost a year and a half later when he filed a second complaint against Holmes on Sept. 29, claiming she allegedly gave away personal property that he owned while he is incarcerated.

      Holmes filed a notice of removal on Feb. 4 and a motion to dismiss Lamar McDow's claims on Feb. 11.

      According to the motion, McDow and Holmes were in a relationship from 2012 through Aug. 2017, but were never married.

      Holmes purchased a number of properties, including several homes between Feb. 2015 and Jan. 2016 after winning the lottery, according to the motion. McDow admitted the properties were always titled in Holmes' name and were never in his name.

      In addition to the properties Holmes purchased, she also bought a number of vehicles. McDow also admitted that all of those vehicles never had his name on them, according to the motion.

      McDow valued all of the property, cars and personal items at more than $1.4 million, according to the motion.

      The motion said, "This case is the embodiment of the phrase 'What's yours is mine and what's mine is my own.'"

      The motion states McDow owns nothing in this case.

      McDow gave Holmes power of attorney in advance before he returned to prison following another criminal conviction, according to the motion.

      "McDow is Holmes' disgruntled, currently imprisoned former fiancé with multiple criminal convictions and an unfortunate desire to pursue meritless litigation against Holmes, whose generosity after winning the Powerball lottery is at the heart of this litigation," the motion said.

      McDow was arrested by the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office in Nov. 2014 for trafficking narcotics, according to the motion.

      McDow pleaded guilty in April 2016 in Brunswick County Superior Court to a charge of conspiracy to traffic heroin. He was arrested in 2014 after 9,600 bags of heroin were seized in July 2014. Judge Richard Brown sentenced McDow to 7.5 to 10 years in prison, according to the Brunswick County District Attorney’s Office.

      According to previous StarNews reports, McDow had been in the Brunswick County jail for three months on drug and weapons charges when Holmes won the jackpot. Shortly after collecting her winnings, Holmes posted his $3 million bail.

      Then months later, McDow was arrested on a weapons charge at Holmes’ newly purchased five-bedroom home in Shallotte. He was released shortly after the arrest once a bondsman posted a $6 million bond. In October 2015, McDow was indicted for the 2014 charges, for which he was bailed out again.

      In the fall of 2016, Holmes appeared on Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network and appeared on a reality television series, called "Iyanla: Fix my Life," which follows life coach and relationship expert, Iyanla Vanzant, as she helped people with their life problems.

      In season six episode seven, which Holmes appeared in, it is revealed that Holmes’ children were living with her mother in a home she bought for them in Seattle. Holmes’ mother, Fontella Marick, told Vanzant she selected the numbers for the winning lottery ticket because she had a dream the night before about her son who died. The numbers she picked reflected his birthday and how old he would have been.

      When Vanzant asked Marick why she never claimed the money for herself, she explained Holmes has four children and she wanted her to be stable and established.

      According to the show, Holmes left her North Carolina home after the show to live with her children in an undisclosed location and originally planned to marry McDow once he was released from prison.

      Holmes has resided in Washington state for several years, according to the motion.

      McDow is scheduled to be released from prison in June 2023, according to N.C. Department of Public Safety.

      Holmes is being represented by Zachary Buckheit, A. Lee Hogewood, and Matthew Houston. Their office declined to comment on the lawsuit.

      McDow is being represented by Ira Braswell Law, and an attorney could not be reached for comment due to ineligible contact phone number.

      In : #EssexCounty 

      Tags: brunswick powerball jackpot winner sued by incarcerated former fiancé 
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