Lawyer for Bossier man who killed mom asks appeals court to force release of audio tape

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BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) The attorney representing a man serving life in prison was in the Louisiana 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals today in an effort to force Bossier Parish judges to turn over the audio recording of closing arguments in the man’s 2nd degree murder trial.

In August 2014, in a 10-2 vote, a Bossier Parish jury found Christopher Holder, 27, guilty in the November 2011 stabbing death of his mother, Dr. Donna Holder. 

Holder’s lawyer, William Pesnell, has the written transcript of closing arguments, but believes it doesn’t accurately portray what transpired during Bossier District Attorney Schuyler Marvin’s final arguments. 

In asking for the 2nd degree murder conviction, according to the official written transcript, Marvin told the jury, “… If that psychiatrist can convince a guy … or a gal in a robe, ‘Go home; send him home.’ That’s not what Donna Holder deserves and that’s not what justice demands.”

The transcript does not, however, say that Holder’s defense attorney, Rick Fayard jumped up and strongly objected, which Fayard says he did. 

Pesnell, hired by Holder’s father, Gary Holder, to pursue the matter, first requested the audio tape of closing arguments from the Clerk of Court and the Court Reporter, but was told the clerk only keeps audio tapes for two years, and then they’re in the custody of the judges

But the judges refused to release them and Pesnell filed suit. The judges still refused, it was argued in court and the judges prevailed.

Today Pesnell argued that constitutionally, the judges were bound to turn over a certified copy of the tape for inspection, while attorneys for the judges argued against it. 
 

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