Apple Valley man charged with murder of wife, unborn child

Roger Earl Holland
Roger Earl Holland

Prosecutors say an Apple Valley man was behind the violent death of his pregnant wife.

Roger Earl Holland, 36, was charged in district court Monday with two counts of second-degree murder – one count in connection with his wife’s death, the other for the death of the couple’s unborn child.

Police found Holland’s 37-year-old wife, Margorie Ann Holland, lying at the bottom of a stairway in her apartment at 6568 157th St. W. after her husband called 911 at about 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 7, to report that she was having a heart attack.

She was taken to Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville, where after resuscitation efforts she was declared dead at about 11:30 a.m.

According to the criminal complaint, Roger Holland told police that he’d left the apartment the morning of March 7 to purchase breakfast for himself and his wife, and that when he returned home he found her facedown on the floor and nonresponsive. He said he began CPR before calling 911 to report that his wife was in cardiac arrest.

Police and medical personnel, however, found bruises, abrasions and a neck injury consistent with strangulation on Margorie Holland, who was 15 weeks pregnant, the criminal complaint said.

Holland told police his relationship with his wife was good – that they’d been married three years, were both members of the National Guard and had been living in their Apple Valley apartment since December 2012. But text messages on the couple’s phones told a different story.

Officers went through the Hollands’ cell phones and, in a large number of deleted text messages, found numerous arguments between the couple, including concerns about their financial situation, the complaint said.

The last text-message argument occurred the night before Margorie Holland’s death, prosecutors said, and was an exchange around 9:30 p.m. in which Margorie Holland sent her husband a text indicating she planned to divorce him.

Roger Holland remained in the Dakota County Jail as of Monday with bail set at $1 million, or $750,000 with conditions including that he surrender his passport and not leave Minnesota without written court approval.

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said he intends to convene a grand jury to review the case for possible additional charges.

If convicted of the two counts of murder, Holland faces a maximum penalty of 80 years in prison. His next court appearance is March 13.