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Thread: Brittany Marlowe Holberg - Texas Death Row

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    Brittany Marlowe Holberg - Texas Death Row





    Summary of Offense:

    On November 14, 1997, Holberg robbed and murdered A.B. Towery, Sr., 80, in his home. The victim was struck with a hammer and stabbed nearly 60 times. The weapons used were a paring knife, butcher knife, grapefruit knife and a fork. A lamp pole had been shoved more than five inches down the victim's throat.

    Holberg was sentenced to death in Randall County on November 2, 1998.

  2. #2
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    November 25, 1997

    Judge rules Holberg to stand trial here

    Brittany Marlowe Holberg, 24, will stand trial for capital murder in Randall County, the county in which the crime occurred.

    "I believe the defendant can receive a fair and impartial trial in Randall County," 251st state District Judge Patrick Pirtle said Monday as he denied Holberg's motion to move the trial out of the Texas Panhandle.

    The court has taken a number of steps to quiet publicity, such as issuing a gag order, Pirtle said. A pretrial publicity order bars lawyers, witnesses and the defendant from discussing facts or evidence with the media.

    Pirtle estimated jury selection would get under way Jan. 12. The trial should begin during the first week of February, he said.

    Criminal District Attorney James Farren said he was relieved Judge Pirtle thinks Randall County jurors can give Holberg a fair trial. Twelve impartial jurors can be found, he said. Plus, logistical problems will be fewer and the expense to the county lower, he added.

    At issue was whether pretrial publicity prejudiced the community and created hostility toward Holberg. Catherine Brown Dodson, Holberg's attorney, had called a number of witnesses who said that people were talking and had decided Holberg was guilty.

    "I will at least concede that reasonable minds can differ on that subject," Pirtle said, referring to prejudice in the community.

    Noted defense attorney Bill Kelly testified that publicity has created an impression that will follow the public into jury selection, possibly overcoming the presumption of innocence. Media reports consistently have recapped the "heinous" facts of the case, he said.

    A.B. Towery Sr. was found dead Nov. 14 in his southwest Amarillo apartment by his son, A.B. Towery Jr. The elder Towery had been stabbed, beaten and had a long, brass-colored object shoved down his throat, court records show. He discovered a large amount of blood at the scene, court records show.

    Media reports also mention that Holberg stands accused of the crime, Kelly said. No other suspect has ever mentioned, he said. Nor has he read a report saying she's innocent.

    "Therefore, you draw the conclusion: the heinous crime and Brittany Holberg," he said, holding his hands out with the palms facing upward, as if they were two sides of a scale.

    On cross examination, Kelly admitted that besides reading the paper, he also had conversations with police officers, lawyers, even Farren. Yet his conversations yielded nothing that he hadn't read in the newspaper, he said.

    "I am aware that there is a confession," he told Farren. "I cannot say whether I became aware from talking to you, from talking to Catherine Dodson. I am not sure."

    The national coverage has heightened local news, he said. Holberg was arrested in Memphis, Tenn., on Feb. 17, about a week after "America's Most Wanted" aired a program labeling her "Public Enemy No. 1."

    "Dad knew so many people," said Russell Towery, A.B. Towery Sr.'s son. "He's crossed so many people's paths, and he's a grandfather. There's nothing he wouldn't do for anybody. I'm glad it's going to stay here."

    http://amarillo.com/stories/112597/011-8605.001.shtml

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    November 25, 1998

    Woman sentenced to die. Killer of 71-year-old is county's second female facing execution

    After deliberating nearly eight hours over two days, a jury decided Tuesday, November 2, 1998, that Kimberly Lagayle McCarthy should die by lethal injection for the brutal slaying of her 71-year-old neighbor.

    Ms. McCarthy, 37, convicted last week in the July 1997 stabbing and bludgeoning death of Dr. Dorothy Booth of Lancaster, is only the second Dallas County woman this century sentenced to death.

    Excerpt from here

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    BRITTANY MARLOWE HOLBERG v THE STATE OF TEXAS

    Holberg's post-trial application for DNA testing on a bloody wallet was denied today per Texas Court of Criminal Appeals orders.

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    And here is the article.

    Court refuses appeal from Texas woman on death row

    The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has refused an appeal from a woman on death row for the 1996 robbery and slaying of an 80-year-old Amarillo man at his apartment.

    Brittany Holberg argued tests inside the wallet of victim A.B. Towery would show the absence of blood and fingerprints and tend to prove she was innocent of robbery and burglary, meaning she couldn't be charged with capital murder.

    The appeals court Wednesday said no constitutional or legal provisions allowed her appeal.

    Holberg, now 38 and identified in court documents as a prostitute, met Towery leaving a grocery store, got inside his place by asking to use his phone and then demanded money. Towery was hit with a hammer, stabbed 58 times and had a lamp pole jammed down his throat.

    http://www.kltv.com/story/16209335/c...n-on-death-row

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    EX PARTE BRITTANY MARLOWE HOLBERG

    In today's orders, the TCCA remanded Holberg's case to the trial court with instructions to hold an evidentiary hearing concerning Holberg's claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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    Article

    Hearing for woman on death row for Amarillo murder

    HOUSTON (AP) - The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has ordered a hearing to address allegations raised in an appeal from a woman sent to death row for the 1996 robbery and slaying of an 80-year-old Amarillo man at his apartment.

    Brittany Holberg says she had deficient legal help during the punishment phase of her capital murder trial. The 40-year-old woman also contends her trial lawyers told her now-deceased grandfather they intended to "throw the trial."

    The appeals court Wednesday ordered Holberg's trial court to hold a hearing within 90 days so trial attorneys and their investigators can respond.

    Holberg is identified in court documents as a former prostitute. The victim, A.B. Towery, was hit with a hammer, stabbed 58 times and had a lamp pole jammed down his throat.

    http://www.ksla.com/Global/story.asp?S=14880377
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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    Randall County district attorney denies Holberg's murder appeal claims

    By Joe Richardson
    The Amarillo Globe News

    Russell Towery is ready for it all to be over. He wants Brittany Marlowe Holberg, the woman who was convicted of killing his father, to be put to death.

    “Seventeen years of tax money went to feed that demon,” he said. “She saw my dad take his last breath. I want to see her take her last breath.”

    This week, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ordered a hearing to investigate claims Holberg’s attorneys admitted throwing the trial to a realtive of hers who is now dead.

    In 1998, Holberg was sentenced to die for the November 1996 murder of 80-year-old A.B. Towery Sr.

    Randall County Criminal District Attorney James Farren, the original prosecutor of the case, said this is typical of death penalty cases.

    “There is nothing too extreme from the defendant’s viewpoint. There’s no idea too wild,” Farren said.

    If this hearing finds any fact to these allegations, there could be a new trial in Randall County. Farren said he does not think that will happen, but he is prepared to try her again if it does. He said he does not think the allegations are true.

    “It’s ridiculous to suggest that these two people would abandon their professional responsibilities and ethical obligations to throw this case,” he said. “I assure you, they were giving it everything they had. The evidence was just overwhelming. There’s no way past it.”

    Russell Towery said his father was just trying to help Holberg. He said A.B. Towery let her into his apartment to use his phone.

    “A little 80-year-old man just trying to help someone out gets 57 stab wounds and the back of his head taken off with a clawhammer,” he said. “It took her 45 minutes for her to beat him to death and take $1,400 out of his wallet.”

    The original court records said objects including a fork, a knife, a space heater, a skillet, and an iron were used to injure A.B. Towery. A lamp was also shoved 5 inches down his throat.

    In the original trial, the defense tried to paint A.B. Towery as Holberg’s “sugar daddy,” claiming the two got into a fight when she wanted more money from him. Russell Towery said those allegations are not true.

    “He didn’t even know her name,” Towery said. I have a name for her — Satan’s daughter.”

    Holberg’s original attorneys could not be reached for comment.

    A family member filed a wrongful death suit against the Princess Apartments, but nothing came of it, Russell Towery said. But that did not matter to him as much as Holber receiving justice, he said.

    “He [A.B. Towery] was screaming for help and people heard him, but they didn’t want to get involved,” he said. “I hope that haunts those people for the rest of their lives.”

    http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/...-appeal-claims

  9. #9
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    Editorial: Justice still must be served

    There is only one way to describe the life of Brittany Holberg — sad.

    Holberg has been on death row in Texas since 1998. She was convicted for the brutal 1996 murder of an 80-year-old Amarillo man — a heinous crime that those who have been around Amarillo awhile remember all too well.

    It is hard to forget the brutality of Holberg’s crime: According to the state of Texas, Holberg’s 80-year-old victim was robbed, murdered, hit with a hammer and stabbed nearly 60 times. Straight from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website: “The weapons used were: a paring knife, a butcher knife, a grapefruit knife and a fork. A lamp pole had been shoved more than five inches down the victim’s throat.”

    Holberg has been fighting for her life, in the legal sense, for going on two decades.

    As sad as it is, justice must not be denied.

    Speaking of Holberg’s life, the latest legal maneuver to save Holberg from justice played out in Amarillo Tuesday as attorneys for Holberg argued that Holberg’s former defense counsel was — let’s put it this way — inadequate.

    It was brought up Tuesday that Holberg was sexually abused as a teen and that her family had a history of mental illness, and that jurors back in 1998 should have been able to consider these circumstances.

    Mental illness is a predictable claim, especially in capital punishment cases. Considering Holberg was apprehended in Memphis, Tenn., after the crime received national attention, it is worth asking why — if mental illness prevented Holberg from knowing the difference between right and wrong — did she leave Amarillo?

    As for the claims of sexual abuse, these claims — if true — only add to the sadness of Holberg’s life. Tragically, countless individuals suffer from sexual abuse, but do not commit a horrible murder.

    Holberg was sentenced to the ultimate form of punishment — not as a form of revenge or retribution.

    It is called justice.

    http://amarillo.com/opinion/editoria...must-be-served

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    Attorney quizzed about missing medical testimony

    By RUSSELL ANGLIN
    The Amarillo Globe News

    A defense attorney who represented Brittany Holberg in her 1998 capital murder trial continued Monday to defend the efforts she and her co-counsel made to keep Holberg off Death Row in a 181st District Court hearing.

    In 1998, a Randall County jury sentenced Holberg, now 40, to death in the March 13, 1996, slaying of A.B. Towery Sr., 80, who was stabbed 58 times and beaten with a claw hammer at Princess Apartments, 4515 S. Virginia St.

    Cathy Dodson, one of Holberg’s former attorneys, said Monday she and her team fought “to avoid a conviction with the word ‘capital’ in it.”

    In May, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ordered an evidentiary hearing in Randall County to take testimony from Holberg’s defense lawyers about claims they “threw” Holberg’s trial and failed to mount a competent defense.

    Holberg was arrested outside a McDonald’s in Memphis, Tenn., on Feb. 17, 1997, after “America’s Most Wanted” aired three segments on the killing.

    H. Christian L’Orange, a San Francisco attorney now on Holberg’s defense team, asked repeated questions about documents from a 1994 Northwest Texas Hospital stay in which medical personnel treated Holberg for cocaine psychosis and coronary problems related to drug use.

    L’Orange questioned Dodson over allegations that she and her legal team failed to ensure their medical expert witness, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Dhiren Patel, received discharge papers documenting Holberg’s hospital stay, citing a 2006 affidavit in which Patel was “adamant he was not given records.”

    Dodson insisted she, co-counsel Candance Norris and the rest of the defense team gave the records to Patel. L’Orange asked Dodson why defense attorneys did not make sure Patel specifically addressed the stay at Northwest to jurors, since the delirium and paranoia Holberg experienced in the hospital mirrored her state of mind when she killed Towery.

    “That may have been an oversight,” Dodson said.

    L’Orange spent Monday morning and some of Monday afternoon pouring over files of potential trial witnesses Dodson and her team contacted during Holberg’s murder trial. For each witness who didn’t testify in court, L’Orange asked what mitigating evidence that witness could have shown to demonstrate to jurors the drug addiction and mental, physical and sexual abuse Holberg faced from a young age.

    Dodson said witnesses for Holberg’s defense were hard to round up, as many of their stories would change each time they were asked to give statements and they had drug addictions, felony convictions or were involved in prostitution.

    “We wanted to avoid those kinds of witnesses,” the longtime Amarillo attorney said.

    The hearing is set to continue at 9 a.m.

    http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/...ical-testimony

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