Trial for teen accused of shooting his mother continued to January

Nov. 06, 2013 @ 08:39 PM

The case of a teenager charged with shooting his mother to death is now scheduled for January rather than next month.

Judge George Collins Jr. placed the case on the docket for Monday, Jan. 6, in Vance County Superior Court. Jaquarius Thomez Holden, just 15 years old when 33-year-old Letitia Renee Hammond was shot to death on June 15, 2011, is facing a first-degree murder charge.

The new date replaces a Dec. 9 date set by Judge Robert Hobgood during case status hearings in October.

The deadline for all evidence from the state labs was due this past Friday. Speaking for the prosecution, assistant district attorney Allison Capps said she could not comment on whether evidence came from labs in time, or if more came since Friday.

“We had to continue the case,” she said.

According to documents added to the case file last week, defense attorney Paul Stainback sought to be released from representing any other cases in the month before a December trial date. Because of the delay to January, he withdrew that request.

Stainback did receive an order that he requested to obtain the service of a forensics cellphone expert to examine a seized cellphone in the case.

Stainback said Holden maintains his innocence, and he seeks “evidence that would help substantiate his claim that he did not kill the decedent,” Stainback wrote.

According to Stainback, the focus for a forensic study of the cellphone would be on certain records that may have been erased or not copied while it was being kept by Henderson police.

Stainback filed a motion in October notifying prosecutors of his intent to possibly introduce an alibi defense.

Prosecutors last month asked for a rush order on the SBI lab testing for firearm ballistics, latent findings, DNA samples and further trace evidence.

Hammond died from six gunshots at the 710 South Carolina Avenue home where they lived. At least one was close range, according to autopsy reports.

She was last known to be alive at 3 p.m., on the day she died. A Henderson police incident report listed 6:30 p.m. as the time of the call to police.

No other murder cases were heard during the special trial court session. According to Assistant District Attorney Bill Griffin, prosecutors obtained guilty pleas on two smaller cases this week.

 

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.