Pre-trial hearings begin for Jeffcoat murder

Pre-trial hearings begin for Jeffcoat murder

Posted: Updated:
LUBBOCK, Texas -

Pre-trial hearings are underway for James Holland accused of capital murder for the death of his pregnant step daughter in 2016.

Holli Jeffcoat, 18, was a special needs teenager whose body was found mutilated. During Holland's hearing his attorney requested the court to sequester jurors due to the attention the case brings.

Judge Trey McLendon said he trusts the juries and fully expects them to follow the law. Prosecutor Sunshine Stanek said jurors can have a bias, but must follow the court's instruction.

Holland's attorney also asked the court to not consider the death penalty. Judge McLendon denied, but the court will allow Holland to attend hearings and trials without handcuffs.

Holland had previously been indicted with abuse of an unnamed minor from January 1, 2010 through November 19, 2014.

A grand jury also indicted him for continual sexual abuse of a minor of a different family member. Court documents indicate the victim's mother Debi Holland knew about the abuse, but didn't stop it.

She is also indicted on a capital murder charge for Jeffcoat's death.

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