Holliman appealing murder conviction

November 2, 2013 10:07:32 PM

Sarah Fowler - sfowler@cdispatch.com

 

Brian Holliman is filing an appeal to his August conviction of first-degree murder. 

 

Holliman was scheduled to appear in Lowndes County Circuit Court on an appeal motion Friday but the case was continued until November 12. He is represented by attorney Steve Farese Sr. 

 

A jury convicted Holliman of first-degree murder after his wife, Laura Lee Godfrey Holliman, died in 2008. The prosecution said Holliman shot and killed his wife in the closet of the couple's Caledonia home while their three children played outside. Holliman initially claimed his wife committed suicide but later said he accidentally shot her with a shotgun during an argument.  

 

Holliman was first convicted of the murder in 2009. In 2011, the Supreme Court overturned the verdict citing a violation of the Golden Rule Act by prosecuting attorney Forrest Allgood. A Golden Rule argument asks jurors to put themselves in the place of one of the parties in a trial. It is prohibited. 

 

A second trial took place in Oktibbeha County after Farese requested a change of venue. 

 

The jury deliberated for seven hours before returning a guilty verdict. Holliman was sentenced to the mandatory penalty of life in prison. 

 

If an appeal is granted the case will appear before the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Sarah Fowler covers crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.