Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lisa Holland guilty in son's death; prosecutor calls case 'scarring'

Written by
Kevin Grasha
Lansing State Journal

Lisa Holland was found guilty this morning of murder in the July 2005 death of her 7-year-old adopted son Ricky.

An Ingham County jury that had been deliberating since Wednesday afternoon found Holland guilty of both first-degree felony murder and first-degree child abuse. Her sentencing was set for Nov. 28; Holland faces mandatory life in prison on the charges.

Ricky was reported missing from his family’s Williamston home on July 2, 2005, but testimony in the six-week trial revealed he died the previous evening. His remains were found in a marshlike area near Dansville in January.

After the verdict, a deputy immediately led Holland from the courtroom. She had to be brought back to hear her sentencing date and was in tears when she returned.

Assistant Prosecutor Mike Ferency called the case one of the most emotional of his 21-year career. "I will carry this one for a long time," he said.

Ferency reflected upon the afternoon when he and detectives were led to Ricky's remains, saying they were "scarred for life."

Lisa’s husband, Tim Holland, already has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the case and testified in her trial. He asked her to accept her role in Ricky’s death.

After the verdict, Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth said he has no sympathy for the two. "There should be a special place in Hell for both Hollands," he said.

Wriggelsworth complimented the jury, saying it wasn't a "smoking gun" kind of case and that they came to a reasonable conclusion.

Lisa Holland's co-counsel Mike Nichols called the verdict "crushing." He said the prosecution's case, which included more than 50 witnesses and 312 exhibits, was likely too much to overcome for the jury.

Tim Holland’s nephew, Rodney Weston, who was in the courtroom for the verdict, said the family is satisfied with the outcome.

“If I had my wish, none of this would ever have happened, but since it did, then this was justice done,” said Weston, a writer and editorial assistant for the State Journal.


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