Lubbock Judge Issues Gag Order in James and Debi Holland Case
A gag order has been issued urging authorities to refrain from communicating with news media about the criminal case involving James Bryant Holland and Debi Holland.
Issued by State District Court Judge John J. McClendon, III of Lubbock County, the gag order asks in part that "those persons involved in the investigation, the prosecution, and the defense of this case refrain from further communication with all news media, including but not limited to, newspaper, print, electronic, television, and radio media regarding these cases or the co-defendants."
Ostensibly, the gag order is aimed to prevent the potential for a change of venue in the criminal case.
James Holland has been charged with continued sexual assault of a child and is being held on a $2 million bond. His wife, Debi Holland and mother of slain Idalou teen Holli Jeffcoat, is being held on a $500,000 bond. Ms. Holland has also been charged with continued sexual assault of a child for facilitating the abuse. The victim in both crimes is not Holli Jeffcoat, but one of her relatives.
An arrest warrant for Mrs. Holland revealed that Mr. Holland had impregnated her daughter Holli Jeffcoat. The 18-year-old girl was found murdered in her home, her throat slit and womb and uterus cut out, days after it was discovered she was 12 weeks pregnant.
You can read the full gag order (via Everything Lubbock) below.
On or about March 30, 2016, defendant James Holland was indicted by the Grand Jury of Lubbock County, Texas, for the offense of Continued Sexual Assault of a Child. Since the date of this indictment the Defendant's wife, Debi Bryant Holland, has been arrested as a co-defendant on similar charges. During the course of these investigations there have been several news stories directly related to the two co-defendants. As a result, the Court ORDERS that those persons involved in the investigation, the prosecution, and the defense of this case refrain from further communication with all news media, including but not limited to, newspaper, print, electronic, television, and radio media regarding these cases or the co-defendants.
The Court is of the opinion that "communication" as referenced herein includes the distribution of information, including but not limited to, offense reports, witness statements, forensic reports, autopsy reports, video and/or audio tapes, Child Advocacy Center interviews and videos, and any other information that could be conceivably presented as evidence at the trials of either co-defendant.
The Court strongly prohibits the release of any information to the new media or any other person requesting any material or reports. Due to the fact that neither case has yet been tried, the Court is of the opinion that the release of any reports, audio, video tapes or other information in the possession of law enforcement officers, prosecutors, or the defense attorneys could potentially cause grounds for a change of venue in the trials of these two defendants.
This ORDER further applies to all members of the Lubbock County Sherriff's Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Lubbock County Medical Examiner's Office, Idalou Police Department, Lubbock Police Department and any other law enforcement agency that may have been involved or may become involved in this case. Be it so ORDERED this 4th day of May, 2016.