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Thread: Robert Holland - Arkansas Death Row

  1. #1
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Robert Holland - Arkansas Death Row






    Prison inmate sentenced to death in 2012 slaying


    After deliberating just 30 minutes Thursday, a Lincoln County jury sentenced a prison inmate already serving a sentence of life without parole to death in the slaying of another inmate.

    Robert Holland, now 45, was convicted of capital murder in the Dec. 2, 2012, death of Matthew Scheile, 22, in a cell in the east building at Cummins Prison.

    Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter said Friday that because the death of Scheile was “so premeditated,” the state decided to give the jury the option of imposing the death penalty, which they did.

    According to the State Police investigation, Holland, who was convicted of capital murder in Union County in 1991, was housed in a two-man cell at the prison and had previously refused to accept a cellmate, which resulted in disciplinary actions. Holland finally agreed to allow another person in the cell with him, and Scheile was killed about 12 hours after he was put in the cell with Holland.

    Hunter said Holland waited until Scheile was asleep before making a noose out of a bed sheet and strangling Scheile, and when Holland was questioned, he admitted the crime.

    Hunter said jury selection, which began Tuesday, took two days before a jury of seven women and five men were seated, and the trial itself was completed in one day.

    The jury took about 20 minutes to find Holland guilty of capital murder.

    Hunter said the death penalty was the first that has been imposed in the 11th West Judicial District since Kenneth Williams was sentenced to death in the 1999 death of Cecil Boren outside Cummins Prison after Williams had escaped from prison. Williams is still on death row.

    “The legislature is going to have to fix the execution procedures before anybody is executed,” Hunter said.

    Hunter and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Wayne Juneau represented the state, while John Cone and Rebekah Kennedy of the Public Defender’s Office represented Holland. Circuit Judge Rob Wyatt Jr. presided at the trial.

    http://pbcommercial.com/news/local/p....fawHpYtS.dpuf
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  2. #2
    Administrator Jan's Avatar
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    The victim was in jail for failing to register as a sex offender. I read on another site that he was in a relationship with a girl who lied about her age and her parents pressed for charges. If this is true I think a registration as a sex offender is way too harsh. In my opinion no one should be required to register if he is guilty of having a relationship which both people wanted. This registration destroys your life because everyone thinks you are a rapist bus this isn't true. Again, a way too harsh sentence for a voluntary relationship.

    Robert Holland killed his own parents in 1991 and after killing Scheile in his cell he covered the body for 4 hours before telling the guards.

    http://www.eldoradonews.com/Blog/201...les-cell-mate/

    He should have been executed a long time ago.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Member DStafford's Avatar
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    I have to say I agree with this. Not too many people exchange ID before starting a relationship, or jumping in the sack with each other. And lord knows there are plenty of kids out there with fake ID, so even if they DID show it, it's a lie...

  4. #4
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    As a foreign user I don't like and I don't want to criticise about USA prison system, because I'm not in the position to teach anything to anyone.
    But I ask myself what they would have expected after putting a young non dangerous offender and a murderer together. A murderer who expressed many times that he didn't want any cellmate.
    I hope I made myself clear.

  5. #5
    Administrator Jan's Avatar
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    The prisons are overcrowded in America. That's why they want 2 persons in one cell. I am on your side that this here was a big mismatch. It's like putting a sheep next to a lion. I would make a rule that only murderers are allowed to share a cell. If there are an odd number of murderers, then there should be just one cell with one inmate. I think prisons can handle this.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Member DStafford's Avatar
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    It says this was a 2-person cell. So I suspect if Holland was in it by himself, they KNEW he was a danger. They made a BAD mistake here.

  7. #7
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    Arkansas Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence Of Inmate Who Killed Cellmate

    LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the capital murder conviction and death sentence of a prison inmate who told authorities he killed his cellmate because he wanted a cell to himself.

    The state’s top court rejected Robert Holland’s argument that he did not receive a fair trial because state prosecutors improperly excluded three black people from the jury before his trial in the slaying of Matthew Scheile.

    Holland was an inmate at the state Department of Correction’s Cummins Unit in Lincoln County, where he was serving a life sentence for capital murder, when Scheile, who was serving a four-year sentence, was placed in his cell on Dec. 7, 2012. Later that night, guards found Scheile dead in the cell from strangulation.

    Holland explained to an Arkansas State Police investigator that he wanted a single cell and did not want to be disciplined for refusing a cellmate. Holland previously had refused a cellmate and had been subjected to various disciplinary measures.

    During jury selection for Holland’s trial in Lincoln County Circuit Court, the state struck three black people from the pool of potential jurors. The defense objected, and the state presented its reasons for the strikes. The trial judge overruled the objection.

    On appeal, Holland — whose race is listed on the Department of Corrections’ website as Caucasian — argued that the state did not establish that its reasons for striking the jurors were race-neutral.

    In its unanimous opinion Thursday, the Supreme Court disagreed, noting that the state explained to the judge that one potential juror was struck because a potential witness was her former pastor, one was struck because the potential juror had a son who was being prosecuted for bringing contraband into a prison, and the third was struck because the potential juror had a son in prison.

    Holland argued that the state did not support its reasons with testimony or evidence, but the Supreme Court said it was not required to.

    “The state was only required to provide a race-neutral explanation; it was under no burden to produce more testimony or introduce any evidence,” the court said in an opinion written by Justice Rhonda Wood.

    The court declined to consider arguments by Holland that he was placed in double jeopardy and that he received ineffective counsel, saying it does not consider arguments that are raised for the first time on appeal.

    http://swtimes.com/news/state-news/a...illed-cellmate

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