Defense rests in Holden murder trial

Apr. 02, 2014 @ 07:25 PM

The defense attorneys for Jaquareus Holden rested their case Wednesday after calling a total of eight witnesses to testify.

The 18-year-old is accused of shooting his mother, Letitia Hammond, on June 15, 2011. He was 15 at the time of the shooting, and he could face a life sentence if convicted.

Michelle Hardin, a body fluid identification analyst from the state crime lab, said she tested the clothes Holden was wearing the day his mother was murdered.

She said she tested the clothing items for blood and her testing “failed to reveal chemical indications of the presence of blood.”

A forensic firearm expert also testified Wednesday.

Jennifer Slish said she examined six bullets and four fired cartridges collected from the crime scene at 710 S. Carolina Ave., Henderson.

She identified the cartridges as coming from the same gun. She said the .32-caliber copper-jacketed bullets also came from the same gun.

Intially, Slish testified the bullets were marked with a right direction twist. She later retracted that and said the markings on the bullets were a left direction twist.

The final defense witness, Sharon Hicks, testified she observed Holden crying on the night his mother died.

Hicks, who is related to Hammond, said she also saw scratches on the neck of Bria White, Holden’s girlfriend at the time.

She said she did not tell police about the scratches she observed, but she said her husband informed police that night.

Closing arguments by the defense attorneys and prosecutors are scheduled to begin today.

 

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.