In a surprising move, murder charges against Madison Holton have been dropped according to District Attorney Randall Houston.
Jesse Madison Holton, 19, had been indicted on two charges of murder in connection with the Sept. 11, 2016, shooting deaths of his parents. The move came Monday morning just before jury selection was set to begin in his trial.
This is a Direct quote from the Prosecutor:
“As prosecutors our job is to find the truth and do justice,” Houston said, after the charges were dropped. “When we cannot find the truth it is impossible to do justice.”
The assistant district attorney prosecuting the case came to Houston on Monday morning and told his boss he “was uncomfortable,” with the case going forward, Houston said.
Holton has pleaded guilty to an underlying charge unrelated to the death of his parents, which is a Class B felony, Houston said. Holton pleaded guilty to violating then state’s Youthful Offender Act, Houston confirmed. In those cases the maximum sentence is three years in prison and the case is sealed.
“From the beginning, this case has been open to interpretation as to what is actually the truth. Either Jesse Holton killed his father and mother; the father of Jesse Holton killed Jesse’s mother then Jesse killed his father; or the father of Jesse Holton killed Jesse’s mother and then killed himself.
“My office has reason to believe any of these three scenarios could have occurred, but we have no proof to support any of the three theories beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, we are ethically obligated to dismiss the murder charges against Jesse Holton. The Elmore County Sheriff’s Office has left no stone unturned in the case, and I thank them or their relentless search for truth and justice,” Houston said.
Holton was seen smiling in an adjacent courtroom Monday morning just before appearing before Circuit Judge Sibley Reynolds to take the youthful offender plea.
“He’s been adamant from the first day that I met him in 2016 that he is not the guilty party in this,” said Tom Azar, his defense attorney. “He maintained that position today. He said regardless of what the district attorney’s office offered him, he would not consider pleading guilty to anything that suggested he hurt either one of his parents.”
The case took a winding path to the courtroom where it ended just before 10:30 a.m. Monday.
Holton was indicted by an Elmore County Grand Jury on murder charges in September of 2017 in the shooting death of his father, Mike, courthouse records show. Mike Holton is a former mayor of Eclectic.
Madison Holton was originally also charged with murder in the shooting death of his mother, April, during the same Sept. 11, 2016 incident, records show. The 2017 grand jury declined to indict Jesse Madison Holton in the shooting death of April Holton, records show. Jesse Madison Holton was 17 at the time of the shootings.
Jesse Madison Holton was released on $150,000 bond shortly before Christmas in 2017 on the original indictment in his father’s death, and remained out on that bond with the new indictment. He had been in jail since his arrest in September of 2016.
Azar couldn’t comment on Madison Holton’s sentence for violating the Youthful Offender Statute, but alluded to him being given credit for his time served in jail.
“The case is over,” Azar said. “Madison is released from any obligations of his bond. He is free to live his life. It is over. This young man amazes me. I’d be mad at the world. But he really is a a sweet, sweet kid.”
Jesse Madison Holton told investigators that his parents were arguing that day, and that his father allegedly shot his mother in the head, Sheriff Bill Franklin said shortly after the shootings. Jesse Madison Holton then told investigators that his father allegedly turned the handgun on himself.
Franklin said the investigation showed that the evidence didn’t back up Jesse Madison Holton’s version of the facts and that’s why the two murder charges were sought in 2016.
The couple were shot in a home on the outskirts of Eclectic. Mike Holton was pronounced dead at the scene, and April Holton died some days later from her wound. Franklin said Mike Holton called the sheriff’s department and filed a complaint about the home being “trashed” following a weekend party. There was evidence of drug use recovered at the home, he said. Mike Holton, a former mayor of Eclectic, asked investigators what it would take to file a juvenile petition against his son, the sheriff said.
The deputy then left the home, only to return a time later when the shots fired call came in.
Mike Holton was elected mayor in 2012. He resigned from the post in 2014, telling media outlets at the time that he wanted to spend more time with his family.
On Monday, Houston left the door open that charges against Madison Holton could be filed again in the future.
“We are not saying Jesse Madison is innocent,” Houston said. “We are saying that we ethically did not have the proper evidence to present the case to a jury. You have what you have with evidence. We collect evidence, we don’t manufacture evidence.
“There is no statute of limitations on murder. If more evidence is discovered in the future, we will look at pursuing charges. The case is not closed.”
They said he’s a sweet kid… yeah most psychopaths are when they’re trying to get themselves out of trouble. Maybe He didn’t do it, maybe He did. As for now it’ll stay Unsolved. I’ll post an updated if any come about in teh future.-Scary Carrie