18-year-old Holli Jeffcoats , abused by step father who killed her when she told authorities he got her pregnant
A Texas couple accused of killing their pregnant, special-needs daughter and ripping out her womb after the teen reported she had been raped were indicted on capital murder charges Friday. A Lubbock County grand jury returned indictments for capital murder against James and Debi Holland in the February slaying of their 18-year-old daughter, Holli Jeffcoat and her unborn baby.
James Holland, 39 and Debi Holland, 38, of Lubock, Texas, could face the death penalty if they are found guilty in the February slaying of 18-year-old Holli Jeffcoat and her unborn baby.
About 10 weeks before she died, Jeffcoat told Lorenzo school and police officials her stepfather, James Holland, had been sexually abusing her and that the abuse resulted in her pregnancy. Tests revealed she was about 13-weeks pregnant. Investigators said the abuse started when the girl was 10 years old.
Prosecutors said the Hollands killed his step daughter, who had special needs, in retaliation for reporting the abuse.
James Holland: Paedophile, indicted for abusing his step daughters, then killing one of them when she reported the abuse. He broke a no-contact order to break in and kill her, rip out her womb and attempt to burn the body
Jeffcoat was found slain Feb. 10 in a home in the 2900 block of County Road 3200. She suffered multiple stab wounds, her throat was slashed and her womb was removed. Investigators believe her killer also burned her body in an attempt to conceal the crime
At the time of the killing, James Holland had been ordered to stay away from the teen as law enforcement officials investigated multiple rape allegations in the household. Holland has been held at the Lubbock County Detention Center since March 10 on a felony count of continuous sexual abuse of a child, stemming from the victim’s allegations, as well as, her 15-year-old sister alleging that he had also been sexually abusing her since she was 9.
The second girl, who also lived in the home, found Jeffcoat’s mutilated body.
James Holland had been instructed to stay away from the girls after Jeffcoat’s outcry.
However, Child Protective Services workers believe he disobeyed the instruction.
Grand jurors also returned an indictment against James Holland in connection with the investigation into Jeffcoat’s sexual abuse.
According to a search warrant, Holland had paint on his hands that was similar to paint found on the window in the victim’s room, believed to be the possibly used by her killer to enter her room. A lighter was also found a lighter in his pants pocket.
The indictment states the two are accused of killing Jeffcoat and her unborn child. The capital murder charges come with bonds set at $2 million and carry a punishment of life in prison or the death penalty.
Evil mother: Debi Holland indicted for slaying her teen pregnant daughter and cutting out the womb. Found complicit in the contined sexual abuse of her daughters by her husband
Debi Holland, has also been held at the detention center since April 29. She is charged with aggravated sexual abuse for allowing the abuse her husband allegedly inflicted on Jeffcoat and for concealing it from authorities. Grand jurors in April also returned an indictment against her on similar grounds for the sexual abuse of the 15-year-old girl.
Ronnie Lemmond, Debi Holland’s brother, said he anticipated a capital murder indictment was on the horizon, but was shocked his sister could now face the death penalty.
“I kind of knew the charges were coming because the detectives told me what they were going to charge them with,” he said. “And I thought I was prepared for that, but I just wasn’t. I was hoping things were going to turn out different. You know, maybe she was at least going to confess to something (or cooperate).”
He does believe his sister and Child Protective Services were complicit in the continued sexual abuse his niece.
“This resulted in the murder of an innocent child.” The indictments, he said, bring his family closer to closure.
“Those of us that have stuck together through all this are having a hard time sleeping and eating sometimes, but we’re glad the ball is rolling and we are just ready to move forward so finally we can grieve for my awesome niece.”