Legal Update

After the very successful 4th Annual DJH Foundation Golf Tournament, it saddens us that our next news update is regarding the military appeals court decision to overturn the conviction of S. London. The Marine Corps Times summarizes the legalities associated with this case and is part of the public record.

Our Foundation’s aim remains to honor the ideals by which Dan lived his life (community, curiosity, competition) and to continue supporting young people in those areas. With the help of our supporters we fund two annual scholarships to graduating seniors at Hopedale High School who were chosen by their peers as being outstanding teammates (just like Dan), provide musical instruments to underprivileged children, have funded a service dog, supported the building of an outdoor play space at the Bright Beginnings Center, funded underprivileged students in joining extracurricular clubs and sports through Confikids, Inc., sponsor social media challenges, and continue to bring loved ones and friends together in celebration of life. The Foundation will continue this work in Dan’s name and continue to make the world a better place.

In regards to the release of S. London, Dan’s family and closest friends are extremely disappointed with the decision of the military appeals court. It is true that when brought to the Grand Jury by the Suffolk County DA’s office, London was not indicted. What is also true is that London, Pankov, and Ryles perjured themselves at the Grand Jury. This was proven at the military court martial in Quantico, VA. The Grand Jury was lied to by the defendant and his companions. What is also true, but was not admissible in the court martial was that just a few minutes before London, Pankov, and Ryles came upon Dan and his friends, London (who was using cocaine and alcohol) had been thrown out of Boston bar for inciting a fight.

Dan’s family would also like to address the comments made by the defendant’s appeal attorney in the article. King stated, “I fear that this decision (to charge London) was the result of a campaign blitz by the family…” This statement could not be further from the truth. After the no-bill in March of 2019, the family was devastated and believed that all legal avenues were closed. In June of 2020, the family was contacted by NCIS investigators who had been following the case from the beginning and believed there were grounds for further investigation and prosecution. The NCIS Team and USMC prosecuting lawyers worked for months and brought London to court martial in June of 2021 where he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter by his peers and sentenced. The family supported the investigation and trial, but by no means performed a “campaign blitz”. The pain of losing a son and brother is unimaginable. The ongoing saga of Grand Jury, investigations, court martials, appeals, clemency hearings, etc. keep that pain and the trauma in the forefront of the family’s minds forcing them to relive the most horrific days of their lives over and over and over again. Coming to grips with the loss of any loved one is difficult, processing the death of an incredibly caring and successful 19-year old through the United States legal system is torture. It is not something that any sane person would campaign for.

The Foundation recognizes that many lives were damaged in the early-hours of September 28, 2019. Too many young people were forced into adulthood in an instant and one very bright life was extinguished. It is crucially important to the family and the Foundation that our ongoing focus be on Daniel and the work of this Foundation. Despite his acquittal, London has been incarcerated since September of 2020. He has served close to three years behind bars and racked up hundreds of disciplinary infractions while incarcerated. While disappointed he will not serve his entire sentence, the Foundation is moving forward and keeping our attention and efforts on what is truly important – the life and love Dan had for his community, the joy he felt in learning and experiencing new things, and his love of sports and games. Please join us in supporting our work and keeping the focus on what is most important, the life of Daniel J Hollis.

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