Family seeking justice for Holli Jeffcoat, 15 months after bruta - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Family seeking justice for Holli Jeffcoat, 15 months after brutal murder

Holli Jeffcoat was 18 (Source: Facebook) Holli Jeffcoat was 18 (Source: Facebook)
Justice for Holli Graphic (Source: KCBD Video) Justice for Holli Graphic (Source: KCBD Video)
James and Debi Holland (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center) James and Debi Holland (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center)
Sherrie Ray, Holli's maternal grandmother (Source: KCBD Video) Sherrie Ray, Holli's maternal grandmother (Source: KCBD Video)

It's a story we've been following since last February, when Idalou teen, Holli Jeffcoat, was found brutally murdered.

Holli would have turned 20 years old on Wednesday.

Her mom and step-father remain behind bars, charged with capital murder and aggravated assault, while Holli's family continues to fight for "Justice for Holli."

"I'd love to have had the chance to hold her, touch her, kiss her just one more time," says Sherrie Ray, Holli's maternal grandmother.

Holli was a fun-loving special needs 18-year-old, who family describe as a bright light. Her life was just beginning, but was taken too soon.

February 10, 2016 was the day that changed this family forever.

Holli was found brutally murdered in her bedroom. Her throat was cut, her uterus removed and the house set on fire to cover it all up.

"I mean, it was a shock," says Ronny Lemmond, Holli's uncle. "The whole day was just kind of a blur."

Just a couple of weeks before, reports indicate that Holli told school officials she was pregnant and that her step-father, James Holland, sexually abused her.

"I didn't really suspect anything or I would've actually intervened," Lemmond says.

Child Protective Services had a history with the family. The first investigation of physical violence started in 1998. Reports of abuse spanned several years. There was another CPS investigation in 2005 following allegations of sexual abuse against Holli.

Then, in 2008, Holli was diagnosed with a sexually-transmitted disease. Reports indicate that Holli's mother, Debi Holland, was aware of the diagnoses and other injuries pointing to sexual abuse, but no charges were filed for it. CPS investigations followed the family for years.

Fast forward to 2016. Court documents indicate that Holli told school officials that her mother knew James was abusing her but, "told her not to tell anyone because mom needed James to pay bills."

We spoke with Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe about the investigation on May 3, 2016, before a news media gag order was issued.

Sheriff Rowe told KCBD there was an immediate lack of cooperation from some family members, which he said was highly abnormal.

"What we want to see here is a successful prosecution and the actors of this crime to face justice. We're taking every appropriate and possible step to ensure that," he said. "It's our primary mission to find those who are responsible for it and see that they see justice."

James Holland was arrested on March 10, 2016. Debi Holland was taken into custody on April 10, 2016.

On July 1, 2016, a Lubbock County Grand Jury indicted James and Debi, charging them with capital murder.

The gag order was issued on July 12, 2016, prohibiting the release of any information to news outlets.

Right now, the Department of Family and Protective Services is investigating Holli's death. Both Debi and James Holland remain behind bars as they await trial. They're held on a total of $3.5 million bond, each.

Aug. 31, 2016: Mother of Holli Jeffcoat to appear in court for plea negotiation

July 1, 2016: Parents of Holli Jeffcoat indicted, charged with capital murder

June 10, 2016: Bond reduction for mother of Holli Jeffcoat postponed

May 10, 2016: Glow stick vigil held Tuesday in Holli Jeffcoat's memory

May 5, 2016: Lubbock District Court Judge signs gag order in Jeffcoat case

May 2, 2016: Warrant: Slain pregnant Texas teen Holli Jeffcoat found with uterus removed

March 11, 2016: Family says Holli Jeffcoat 'deserves justice' after stepfather arrest

Feb. 15, 2016: Holli Jeffcoat reported sexual abuse, told school she was pregnant weeks before deadly stabbing

Feb. 11, 2016: Lorenzo ISD mourns death of classmate Holli Jeffcoat

Feb. 11, 2016: Idalou community shocked by teen's death

Feb. 10, 2016: CPS assisting in Idalou homicide investigation, sibling in foster care

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