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Accused Killer Brian Holliman Released from Jail

In a shocking twist, accused murderer Brian Holliman has been released from jail.

Holliman

Holliman was serving a life sentence for the Oct. 25, 2008 murder of his wife, 24-year-old Laura Lee Godfrey-Holliman, when his conviction was overturned in Dec. 2011. Holliman was transferred from a facility in Olive Branch, Miss. on Tuesday and bonded out of the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center late that evening.
Holliman’s conviction was overturned when his lawyer, Steven Farese, claimed prosecutor Forrest Allgood violated “the Golden-Rule argument” and acted in “an egregious display of prosecutorial misconduct.”
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Holliman, saying that Allgood violated the golden rule when he repeatedly asked jurors “How would you feel with a loaded shotgun in your face?”
According to The Supreme Court “In this case, the prosecutor erred in repeatedly asking the jurors how they would feel to have a loaded shotgun in their faces. The prosecutor essentially requested that each juror put himself or herself in the place of Laura during the fatal altercation, which was an egregious display of prosecutorial misconduct. This Court previously has determined that the use of the golden-rule argument is reversible error. In the case at hand, the prosecutor’s argument was a blatant violation, and the trial court erred in overruling both objections from Brian’s counsel. Accordingly, the prosecutor’s error is fatal, and this Court reverses the trial court’s judgement and remands for a new trial.”

The following is an excerpt from court documents in which Allgood addressed members of the jury:
In the statement that [Brian Holliman] gave on Oct. 29th . . . this defendant admitted – I believe the exact words in the statement are: I purposely pointed my shotgun at Laura Lee Holliman. He purposely pointed a loaded shotgun with the safety off and his finger on the trigger at another human being.
I grew up with guns. And I’m not one to play with them. If I did not have the respect with them that I do, then perhaps it would have been a dramatic thing for me to take that shotgun over there, open the breach, and walk in front of the jury and point it at each and every one of you. What would you have felt if I had done that, Ladies and Gentlemen?
[Brian’s counsel objected and was overruled.]
Let’s change that a little bit. Let’s say that I took a round and put it in the chamber and then walked before you, once again pointing it at each and every one of you, with the safety off and my hand not on the trigger, how would you feel? Would you squirm? You think you might duck?
Let’s suppose that I take that loaded shotgun, I point it at you in your face, and I knock the safety off. I still don’t have the finger on the trigger.
[Objection was continued by Brian’s counsel, and again, overruled.]
How would you feel then? Would you feel threatened, Ladies and Gentlemen? Would you think that I was irresponsible or worse? Would you feel the danger and the presence of it?
Let’s say that I put the round in the gun, and I take the safety off, and I put my finger on the trigger, and I point it at you as I come down this line. You’d be outraged. And you should be. Because what I’m doing when I do that is creating a situation that fatal consequences may very likely occur.

Golden Rule states that lawyers are not allowed to ask jurors to put themselves in the victim’s shoes. Jurors convicted Holliman of the murder in Dec. 2009.
Holliman initially claimed that his wife killed herself but he later confessed to the fatal shooting, telling investigators, “I purposefully pointed the shotgun” at Laura Lee. Laura Lee was killed when she suffered a single gunshot wound to the face from a 12-gauge shotgun.
Investigators with the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department believe Laura Lee was attempting to leave her husband when the two got into a verbal argument. Things quickly escalated when Holliman allegedly pulled out the shotgun, shooting and killing his wife while their children played outside in the front yard.
Circuit Court Judge Lee Howard handed down a $200,000 bond on Tuesday. Kenneth Montgomery’s bonding company, National Bonding, bonded Holliman out of LCADC Tuesday night.
As of press time Wednesday evening, a new trail date for Holliman had not been set.

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51 comments

    • KJ

      Because he wasn’t legally convicted. The prosecutor’s misconduct invalidated the trial. If the prosecutor cheated while convicting you, would you just accept it?

      • You're kidding

        KJ- are you serious? This man is a monster! Cheating or not, he deserves to be in prison.

        • So, to be clear, are saying that you support a prosecuting attorney using illegal or unethical tactics in order to land a conviction when working to put away a guilty bad guy? What about when the defendant is innocent? Is it still ok for the prosecutor to “do what it takes to win”?

          I’m not defending Brian. But it seems prudent to defend the constitution and the legal process that is meant to defend each and every American citizen in the event they find themselves before the court. Guilty, innocent — it doesn’t matter. Those rights are inalienable, and are afforded to every single Man, Woman, and Child regardless of their past.

          Would you have that changed for mere expediency? For remember: once that right or freedom is gone it isn’t likely to return, neither for the just nor the unjust.

    • That is correct. I think he and the judge are both to blame and should be responsible for the retrial costs, at minimum (which the Supreme Court has even verified could/should happen to prosecuting attorneys that egregiously violate principles of acceptable conduct).

      I would also love to see prosecuting attorneys serve out the remnant of sentences for convicts who are exonerated. This would result in less convictions that are not “beyond reasonable doubt”, and would serve as a caution for those representing the city/state/etc. who are prone to wield their powers with assumed impunity.

  1. i dont know anything about this case, but judging by the comments, he’s guilty until proven innocent. i’d like to get more info, but the site is down.

    • 80's Baby

      Yeah if guilty me such a hanous crime of 1 should face consequence but D.A.’s n judges have know right 2 operate outside of there legal boundaries wen seeking 4 a conviction. Like KJ said they cheated and if they cheated n this case they’ll cheat n others (and have) even wen the defendant is innocent. The Columbus judicial system has been railroading people 4 years n its about time da issue is addressed.

  2. The problem lies with Cableone’s equipment. We have been pushing them to remedy it, hopefully, it will be done soon. Only Cableone internet subscribers seem to be having problems seeing our page. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  3. The problem lies with Cableone’s equipment. We have been pushing them to remedy it, hopefully, it will be done soon. Only Cableone internet subscribers seem to be having problems seeing our page. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  4. The problem lies with Cableone’s equipment. We have been pushing them to remedy it, hopefully, it will be done soon. Only Cableone internet subscribers seem to be having problems seeing our page. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  5. Apparently the readers of the Packet don’t consider the right to a fair trial to be an important part of the Constitution. Because they believe the man was guilty they believe it is ok to use whatever means to obtain a conviction – legal or otherwise

  6. The fact is, he was found guilty of murdering his wife. His lawyer appealed. Apparently the DA made some statements in his closing arguments that asked the jury to put themselves in the victims place, how would they have felt staring at the barrel of a loaded gun. This is not allowed. The defense objected but the judge allowed it. The verdict was overturned and he will get a whole new trial. Absolutely horrible. Her family having to relive it all again!!!

  7. Who gives a damn about what he asked the jury! He killed his wife he still deserves the punishment. My sister play softball with laura and she is devasted his ass is out. When they throw black people in there and wouldn’t have thought twice about a golden rule this is bs and whites people get away with murder.

  8. Who gives a damn about what he asked the jury! He killed his wife he still deserves the punishment. My sister play softball with laura and she is devasted his ass is out. When they throw black people in there and wouldn’t have thought twice about a golden rule this is bs and whites people get away with murder.

  9. i think its pretty messed up. my mother was shot and killed, and sidney thompson jr. walked away without even having to go to trial. justice doesent matter when your dads a city councilman. but i dont hate him like you guys hate this guy. all the hate in the world wont bring her, or my mom back. dont blame skin color, it wont change a thing. you can mourn and move on, or do something stupid. white or black, smart or stupid. which is important. a hint: we all bleed red.

  10. Even, the packet got it wrong “Accused” he was found Guilty. Even made a statement to the Detectives…We shouldv pay these ppl more so they don’t accept “Pay-Offs!”

  11. I know its not about color but u know whites get away with sh** and they love throughing the black people away. If this man was black he would still be in jail.

  12. Christopher Boland

    I don’t want to live on this planet anymore. Judging by some of the comments made in this thread, cutting out natural selection in the human race has not served us well. It terrifies me to know that not only do people like you breed and vote, but you’re also potential jurors.

  13. Didn’t Brian make the comment he had the gun to her head/face and his and her hands were on it but didn’t know what happened when it went off. ?? Maybe I am dreaming??

  14. G.L. Baldwin

    There is “supposed” procedure to the Justice system. This procedure is intricate and designed to protect us from corrupt officials and “cowboys” who have a blatant disregard for that procedure and will lie, or otherwise violate the civil rights of a citizen in order to reach a fovorable outcome. This is unfortunate for both sides of this case. However, this event is most likely a step in the right direction for lowndes county. An eye opener for the citizens. And a red flag that clearly states that you have elected people to uphold the law that have no respect for it themselves.

  15. There is “supposed” procedure to the Justice system. This procedure is intricate and designed to protect us from corrupt officials and “cowboys” who have a blatant disregard for that procedure and will lie, or otherwise violate the civil rights of a citizen in order to reach a fovorable outcome. This is unfortunate for both sides of this case. However, this event is most likely a step in the right direction for lowndes county. An eye opener for the citizens. And a red flag that clearly states that you have elected people to uphold the law that have no respect for it themselves.

  16. Furthermore, the Ignorant citizens of Lowndes county that throw aroun racial issues and such, if they knew Laura Leigh, they would remember that she was a very understanding person. She believed in GOD, forgiveness, and the idea fo people being able to change. Please don’t close your eyes to GODs plan. Trust HIM. HE knows what he’s doing.

  17. Disgraceful

    This man is a monster. He beat that poor woman multiple times until he finally took her life. There is NO excuse for letting him leave prison without any known form of rehabilitation. Holliman is dangerous and most likely a threat to society. There is no telling what he will do now that he is just out and about.

    Brian Holliman- I hope you are put away quickly, and I hope you are put away for life.

  18. ?

    I LOVE how people find a way to pull the race card even when an article HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE!!! This is exactly what is holding Columbus back. How can we move on and have racial equality when people CONSTANTLY bring it up out of no where!

  19. Spectator

    Well Mr. ?, whether you want to believe it or not, nearly EVERYTHING that’s in The Columbus Packet & in this world is somehow race-related. Like Ladi Ablah
    said above, if it were a black man on trial, he’d be serving his sentence…no if’s, and’s, or but’s, about it!! I say RIP Laura, a complete stranger to me. I’ll pray for your family’s peace of mind. I say to hell with Mr. Allgood!! He’s been a complete screw-up for a LONG time!! And lastly I say to Brian, your crime will NOT go unpunished..in due time, you will reap what you’ve sown!!

  20. Very Upset

    I heard that the trial recently got postponed due to the fact the family is unable to pay his “HIGH DOLLAR” attorney

  21. Very Upset

    This man is walking around free, new girlfriend and facebook page he is allowed to be around his daughter, when he has murdered her mother and is a know womanizer. It just turns my stomach. He needs to be back where he belongs, IN JAIL!!

  22. Me

    I will say that Forest Allgood was outstanding in my case. I’m sure that he is the only attorney that has ever said t he wrong things.. Columbus is a messed up place to live.. You can’t trust no one .

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