Father speaks out on son's murder trial slated to start Monday

By Nancy Cook | ncook@ktalnews.tv, Christian Henson | chenson@ktalnews.tv

Published 08/10 2014 08:56PM

Updated 08/14 2014 03:30PM

Jury selection will begin Monday in the 2nd degree murder trial of a man accused in the November 2011 death of his mother, a physician on the staff of LSU Health Sciences Center.


Christopher Holder, 23, is charged with stabbing his mother, Dr. Donna Holder, in the early evening hours of Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, and then calling 911 to report his mother had been stabbed by an intruder.


The call came in at 7:15 p.m. that night, and when Bossier police responded to the scene, they found Donna Holder had been stabbed multiple times.  Christopher Holder was taken into custody at the crime scene, and later that evening  he was charged with second degree murder and booked him into the Bossier City jail with a $1 million bond.


In the two years and nine months since Christopher Holder has been in custody, he has been examined by experts in the fields of psychology and psychiatry, and was committed to Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System in Jackson, LA, in September  2013 for a few months.


There has never been a doubt that Holder stabbed his mother multiple times, which resulted in her death. But Gary Holder, Christopher’s father, believes his son needs intense psychiatric treatment, not life in prison without possibility of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. Christopher has been diagnosed as having schizoaffective disorder by many of the professionals who treated him since he was 15 years old.


Gary Holder points to his son’s documented history of severe mental illness that  resulted in hospitalizations at LSU Medical Center and Brentwood Hospital, as well as and threats and behavior that prompted his mother to call to Bossier police on more than one occasion. Holder also said his son once attacked him, breaking four of his ribs, his nose and slashing his face, before he was stopped.


Holder believes psychiatric drugs prescribed by various psychiatrists to treat his son’s mental illness are responsible for “burning” his son’s brain, and he does not believe his son can be held responsible.


Last Monday Gary Holder was in Bossier District Court as three motions submitted by his son’s defense attorney Rick Fayard were argued and denied. Those motions involved the admissibility of evidence taken at the crime scene and Christopher Holder’s confession on the night of the crime, as well as whether he asked for an attorney. Another motion asked for a bench trial, rather than a jury trial.


Three expert witnesses testified at the hearing, two retained by the court to determine Holder’s competency to stand trial: Dr. George Seiden, a forensic psychiatrist, and Dr. Mark Vigen, a psychologist’ and Dr. Gary Mears, a psychologist and a neuropsychologist, retained by the defense.


All three doctors testified Holder was psychotic at the time he killed his mother, and that he was psychotic at the time he confessed to Bossier police; however, Seiden testified “psychotic” does not mean “insane,” and it was his belief that Holder was not insane at the time he confessed.      


In denying the motions, Nerren said the statement made by Holder to police on the night of his mother’s death was “free and voluntary and is admissible.” He denied the motion or a bench trial in that it was not filed in time.


Sunday afternoon, less than a day before his son’s trial, Gary Holder sat down and talked with NBC 6 News Reporter Christian Henson.


Watch that interview tonight at 10, only on NBC 6 News, and watch an extended video on that interview on Web Exclusive on arklatexhomepage.com

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