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Monica Jensen
651-438-4440

Apple Valley Man Indicted for First and Second Degree Murder
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Roger Earl Holland, age 36 of Apple Valley, was indicted* late yesterday afternoon by the Dakota County Grand Jury with two counts of First Degree Murder and two counts of Second Degree Murder in connection with the death of his wife, Margorie Ann Holland, age 37, and her unborn child on March 7, 2013.

Backstrom indicated that the law enforcement investigation in this case revealed the following:

A 911 call was made at approximately 9:55 a.m. on March 7th by Roger Holland.  He reported that his wife was lying at the bottom of a flight of stairs and was not breathing.  Holland claimed he had left the home to purchase breakfast for himself and his wife that morning and when he returned he found her face down on the floor wrapped in a blanket and non-responsive at the bottom of the steps.  Holland claimed he rolled his wife over before calling 911 and began CPR after this call was made. 

Apple Valley police arrived at the townhome on 157th Street West at approximately 10:00 a.m. in response to the 911 call.  Upon arrival of medical personnel, Margorie Holland was not breathing and had no heartbeat.  Resuscitation efforts were attempted and she was quickly transported to Fairview Ridges Hospital where she and her unborn child were officially declared dead. 

Officers 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, 2013.  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.  Roger and Margorie Holland had been married for approximately a year and a half prior to her death 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 of 2012.  Margorie Holland was approximately 15 weeks pregnant at the time of her death. 

Officers conducted a search of cellular telephones of both Roger and Margorie Holland and found a large number of text messages which contained numerous arguments between the couple in the last several weeks prior to March 7, 2013.  Some of these texts referenced concerns about their financial problems.  These messages had been deleted from Margorie Holland’s cell phone.  In one of these deleted texts which had been sent on March 6, 2013 at approximately 9:20 p.m., Margorie Holland told her husband she intended to report him to authorities “first thing in the morning” for stealing her credit cards.  In another one of these deleted texts sent on March 6, 2013 at approximately 9:30 p.m., Margorie Holland told her husband that she intended to divorce him.

The investigation revealed that Margorie Holland’s cell phone accessed Facebook at 7:00-7:13 a.m. on March 7, 2013.  However, attempts by her brother to call her on her cell phone at 8:29 a.m. and to text her at 9:02 a.m. that morning went unanswered. 

Officers also found a text between the couple’s cell phones relating to the breakfast purchase on March 7, 2013.  Holland claimed he received a text message from his wife after he left the home that morning requesting that he get breakfast from McDonalds instead of Taco Bell.  This text message was sent from Margorie Holland’s cell phone at 9:29 a.m.  Investigators also found a text message sent from Margorie
Holland’s cell phone to Roger Holland’s cell phone 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 cell phone 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 cell phone on March 6, 2013 which stated:  “if you pass out and fall down a flight of stairs, can you break your neck can 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 February 28, 2013.  

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.  Her body was cool to the touch when police and medical personnel arrived at the Holland residence. The medical examiner who conducted the autopsy on the victim also found that the thyroid cartilage in the victim’s neck was broken on both sides, consistent with the victim having been strangled.  The victim also had hemorrhaging in her neck muscles and petechiae in her eyes and on her face, also consistent with strangulation.  The medical examiner concluded that the victim died by strangulation, not a fall down stairs. 

A copy of the indictment can be found at http://www.dakotacounty.us/LawJustice/CriminalComplaint.  If in
custody, a mug shot can be viewed at http://www.dakotacounty.us/LawJustice/Jail/Pages/inmate-search.aspx. Prior news release available at http://www.dakotacounty.us/LawJustice/AttorneyNewsReleases.

Backstrom commented:  “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. 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 this 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. 

If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4440.

*Criminal charges are not evidence of guilt.  A defendant/suspect is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.