EXCLUSIVE: FBI informant beaten in San Luis Obispo County Jail
April 2, 2015
By KAREN VELIE
An informant who helped the FBI expose a corrupt police officer was severely beaten last month while incarcerated in the San Luis Obispo County Jail.
On March 2, the day after it was reported that the city of San Luis Obispo agreed to pay Kip Holland and his girlfriend a $25,000 settlement, four inmates attacked the 49-year-old man. Holland was treated for lacerations to his head at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center.
Holland’s information led to the 2013 conviction of Cory Pierce, a San Luis Obispo police officer who had been on loan to the sheriff’s department, for extortion.
In Dec. 2013, a federal judge sentenced Pierce to 18 months in prison. Prosecutors described an officer who stole drugs from the sheriff’s department evidence locker, held guns on his victims while stealing drugs under the color of authority and then bribed others to sell the drugs.
Holland and his girlfriend, who was also an FBI informant, filed a suit in federal court claiming Pierce had coerced them to sell drugs and had forced sex on Holland’s girlfriend. In Dec. 2014, the city of San Luis Obispo paid $25,000 to settle the suit.
On March 19, Pismo Beach police arrested Holland on charges of misdemeanor forgery and violation of his probation and booked him into the San Luis Obispo County Jail. Though informants are generally placed in protective custody, sheriff deputies locked Holland into a six man cell.
On March 22, four inmates violently attacked Holland.
The four inmates – Joshua Bradshaw, 22, of Paso Robles; Mikheal Young, 29, of Grover Beach; Joshua Dollins, 37, of San Miguel and Cameron Stumbo, 34, of Atascadero – were charged with the assault. The sheriff’s department attributes the beating to an article in the Tribune.
“When Holland came into custody, he did not report being involved in the Pierce case, nor did he disclose in the classification interview any concern for his safety or request protective custody,” said Tony Cipolla, the sheriff’s department public information officer. “The assault appeared to be the result of an article that was published in the Tribune the day before, where Holland settled a claim on the Pierce case.”
Since the assault, the sheriff’s department has placed Holland in protective custody. He is scheduled to be released on April 8, according to the sheriff’s department website.
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