Prosecutors seek death penalty in Holli Jeffcoat case

James and Deborah Holland (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center)
James and Deborah Holland (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center)
Updated: Mar. 26, 2018 at 3:18 PM CDT
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Holli Jeffcoat (Source: Justice for Holli Jeffcoat, Facebook)
Holli Jeffcoat (Source: Justice for Holli Jeffcoat, Facebook)
Authorities say someone set a fire in this house to cover the murder (Source: KCBD)
Authorities say someone set a fire in this house to cover the murder (Source: KCBD)

LUBBOCK COUNTY, TX (KCBD) - The Lubbock County District Attorney's Office is seeking the death penalty for the man accused of killing his pregnant step-daughter, Holli Jeffcoat, in February of 2016.

In a pretrial hearing last week, prosecutors revealed they would seek the death penalty in James Holland's capital murder case.

Feb. 10 marked two years since the murder of 18-year-old Holli Jeffcoat. The teen was found in her home on the morning of, stabbed multiple times with her uterus cut out.

The two suspects in the murder are Jeffcoat's mother and stepfather, James and Deborah Holland. They are still in jail, each held on a $3,500,000 bond.

James Holland is accused of a series of sexual assaults on Jeffcoat authorities believe led to her pregnancy before her death. School officials with Lorenzo ISD reported her pregnancy and the town's Sheriff along with representatives from the Child Protective Services took up a report on the incident.

Documents say Jeffcoat told a school official her mother told her not to tell people about the abuse because they relied so much on James Holland to pay bills.

Though she was enrolled in Idalou, she attended a special needs program at Lorenzo. She was said to have the mental capacity of a six- or seven-year-old and was incapable of giving consent to any sexual acts, court documents state.

"She didn't want to go home with dad because she didn't want to have sex," an unnamed school official said, according to court documents. "The sex hurt."

It was a few weeks later on Feb. 10, 2016 police found Jeffcoat in her home with multiple stab wounds, her throat cut and uterus removed. Authorities also said those who killed Jeffcoat tried to set the house on fire to cover up the murder.

It was a month later, on March 10, 2016, James Holland was arrested, and a month after that on April 10, 2016, Deborah Holland was taken into custody.

But there was a trail of abuse within the family, according to CPS. After Jeffcoat was found dead, the department released a statement saying one of the 15-year-old siblings was to be put into the foster care system and receive therapy afterward.

The statement went on to say, "The family did have prior involvement with CPS." In 2008 Jeffcoat was diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection and after that CPS kept up with the family for years.

Court documents also show she had been touched by James Holland since she was 12-year-old. Most of this was used as evidence to indict both Hollands and in July of 2016, they were formally charged with capital murder.

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