Sad Details About The Disabled Teen Who Was Murdered By Her Stepdad

Photo: Lubbock County Detention Center
Who Is Holli Jeffcoat? Details Disabled Teen Murdered By Stepfather Texas

A Texas man pleaded guilty to murdering his mentally disabled stepdaughter who authorities say he sexually abused and impregnated before stabbing her to death and removing her uterus.

James Holland, 42, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Tuesday following a guilty plea in the 2016 death of 18-year-old Holli Jeffcoat.

“We are pleased that this Defendant accepted responsibility and pled [sic] guilty to the Capital Life Without Parole sentence. Justice in this case not only includes ensuring that this Defendant dies in prison, but hope that the living victim gains new life with this outcome,” said Lubbock County Criminal District Attorney K. Sunshine Stanek.



She said her office had planned to seek the death penalty until Holland pleaded guilty, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported.

Holli was found dead on the floor of her home on Feb. 10, 2016, just weeks after she told authorities Holland was sexually abusing her, resulting in a pregnancy. Her throat had been slit and her uterus was torn from her body. Jeffcoat was about 12 weeks pregnant when she died. Authorities also said Jeffcoat’s killer tried to burn her body to cover up the crime.

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According to court documents, Jeffcoat attended a special needs program. She was said to have the mental capacity of a 6-to-7-year-old and was considered incapable of consenting to any sexual acts.

“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 obtained by KFDA. “The sex hurt.”

 

 

Jeffcoat’s mother, Debi Holland, knew of the abuse but did not report it because the family relied on James Holland’s income. Court documents indicate that the sexual abuse began when Jeffcoat was 12.

“The family did have prior involvement with CPS,” says a statement from Child Protective Services.

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In 2008, the special needs girl was diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection and CPS said it was keeping an eye on the family. Following Jeffcoat’s claims her stepfather was sexually abusing her, Holland was told to stay away from her, a safety plan he reportedly didn’t stick to.

After Holland pleaded guilty to murder, Jeffcoat’s uncle, Ronny Lemmond, said he was unsure how he felt about the sentence.

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Lubbock County Detention Center

“We’re happy ’cause he finally took responsibility for what he did and that he’s going to have to spend the rest of his life in prison thinking about what he did,” he told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. “But we’re mad because he had to wait three years to even say anything. And we’re mad at the district attorney for giving him the option to do so.”

Holland was taken into custody in March. Jeffcoat’s mother, Debi Holland, was arrested in April in connection to her death and is being held on a $3.5 million bail. Both were charged with murder, aggravated sexual assault of a disabled person and sexual assault of a child.

Debi Holland’s trial is pending. She remains behind bars at the Lubbock County Detention Center.

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Sarah Gangraw writes about all things news, entertainment and crime. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.