A 36-year-old Apple Valley man was indicted yesterday by a Dakota County grand jury with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the March 7 death of his wife, Margorie Ann Holland, 37, and her unborn child.
The indictment comes after the medical examiner determined that Margorie Holland died by strangulation and not a fall down the stairs at their townhome on 157th Street West as Roger Holland has claimed, according to a release from the Dakota County Attorney’s Office.
The medical examiner who conducted the autopsy found that thyroid cartilage in Margorie Holland’s neck was broken on both sides, she had hemorrhaging in her neck muscles and petechiae in her eyes and on her face, all consistent with the victim having been strangled.
Medical personnel and police officers observed numerous injuries on Margorie Holland’s body, including bruising and abrasions on her head, face, hands, legs, ankles and feet.
Roger Holland claims he found his wife face down on the floor wrapped in a blanket and non-responsive at the bottom of a staircase inside their townhome upon his return to the residence after purchasing breakfast for them. He claims he rolled his wife over before calling 911 and began CPR after this call was made.
Holland allegedly called 911 at approximately 9:55 a.m. March 7 to report that his wife was lying at the bottom of a flight of stairs and was not breathing.
Upon arrival of medical personnel, Margorie Holland’s body was cool to the touch, and she was not breathing and had no heartbeat. Resuscitation efforts were attempted and she was transported to Fairview Ridges Hospital where she and her unborn child were officially declared dead. She was approximately 15 weeks pregnant.
Apple Valley police officers who responded to the call at about 10 a.m. observed visible scratches on the left side of Roger Holland’s face and neck.
Roger Holland later told police that his wife had accidentally scratched him while he was massaging her stomach on the morning of March 7.
Investigators later found at the time of his arrest that Roger Holland also had fresh scratches on his forearms and upper arms and a fresh cut on a toe on his left foot.
Roger Holland told police that his relationship with his wife was good and that they did not have any financial problems.
A search of the Holland’s cellphones found a large number of text messages, which contained numerous arguments between the couple in the weeks prior to March 7 and some texts that referenced concerns about their financial problems.
On March 6, at approximately 9:30 p.m., Margorie Holland told her husband that she intended to divorce him, and in a text sent 10 minutes earlier she told him that she intended to report him to authorities “first thing in the morning” for stealing her credit cards.
The investigation revealed that Margorie Holland’s cellphone accessed Facebook from 7 to 7:13 a.m. March 7; however, attempts by her brother to call her on her cellphone at 8:29 a.m. and to text her at 9:02 a.m. that morning went unanswered.
Roger Holland claimed he received a text message from his wife after he left the home that morning requesting that he get breakfast from McDonald’s instead of Taco Bell. Investigators found this text message was sent from Margorie Holland’s cellphone at 9:29 a.m.
Investigators also found a text message sent from Margorie Holland’s cellphone to Roger Holland’s cellphone that morning at 9:31 a.m., saying that she was uncomfortable and was moving downstairs from her bedroom upstairs. Investigators found a text message indicating that Roger Holland’s cellphone had responded to this message at 9:33 a.m.
However, video surveillance at the building showed that Roger Holland did not leave the townhome complex until 9:34 a.m. that morning.
Investigators also found a data entry which may have been related to an Internet search on Roger Holland’s cellphone on March 6 which stated: “if you pass out and fall down a flight of stairs, can you break your neckcan (sic) your neck be broken if you are.”
Several other similar data entries concerning whether someone can break their neck falling down the stairs or in other ways were found on Roger Holland’s laptop computer. These data entries related to Google searches that occurred sometime prior to Feb. 28.
Roger and Margorie Holland had been married for approximately a year and a half and had been dating for some time before their marriage. Both were members of the Texas National Guard. They had moved into their Apple Valley residence in December 2012.
“These charges reflect allegations that this was a premeditated and intentional domestic-related homicide that tragically claimed the life of Margorie Holland and her unborn child,” Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said in a press release. “Our deep sympathy is extended to the victim’s family and friends.”
Backstrom thanked the Apple Valley Police Department, the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension who assisted in the investigation of this case.
Roger Holland is expected to make his first appearance on the charges returned in the indictment within the next several days. He currently remains in custody in the Dakota County Jail, having failed to post the bail previously set in connection with this case.