Roger Holland had a very incriminating internet search history when his wife was found dead
Holland and Margorie during happier times (right); Holland as he was being booked into jail on suspicion of murder (left).
:::: UPDATE, December 17 :::: Holland has been convicted of two counts of both first- and second-degree murder in connection with the deaths of his wife and her fetus. He will be sentenced today.
On March 7, Roger Holland's pregnant wife, 37-year-old Margorie Holland, was found dead at the bottom of a staircase in the Apple Valley home the couple shared.
A JUDGE DIDN'T BUY IT: Roger Holland's defense: Killing wife's fetus was abortion, not murder
Roger, 36, claimed she fell down the stairs while he was away, but scratches on his neck and broken capillaries on her face indicated otherwise, and Holland was ultimately charged with first- and second-degree murder in connection with the deaths of both his wife and her fetus.
Roger's trial started today, and in addition to physical evidence indicating there was more to Margorie's death than an accidental fall down the stairs, prosecutors also presented incriminating evidence from Roger's internet search history.
The Star Tribune explains:
During his opening statement on Monday, [prosecutor Phil Prokopowicz] said somebody performed an Internet search from Holland's cellphone for the phrase "Can you go to jail for using your wife's credit cards?" in addition to queries such as "If you pass out and fall down the stairs, can you break your neck?"
The couple had reportedly racked up roughly $168,000 in debt, and if records of texts they exchanged are any indication, their financial situation put a huge strain on their marriage. More from the Strib:
The Hollands' cellphones showed that the couple had argued numerous times via text message about money and about Roger Holland's unauthorized use of his wife's credit cards. In one exchange on March 1, Holland asked his wife how she was, and she responded, "Like I hate my life, I hate the man I married, and I wish I could erase the past 3 years."
The night before she died, Margorie Holland texted her husband that "she did not believe anything he said and that the only thing she could do was divorce him," court documents say. Another text that night said she was planning to turn him in to police for using her credit cards "first thing in the morning."
One of Roger Holland's defense attorneys is Eric Nelson, the same guy who unsuccessfully defended Amy Senser in her criminal vehicular homicide case. In court today, Nelson said Roger "adored his wife" and argued investigators had "tunnel vision" that caused them to identify Roger as their only suspect early on, despite the fact that blood belonging to another person was purportedly found at the crime scene.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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