ABILENE, Texas (TCD) -- Three people who were arrested for allegedly killing their 24-year-old roommate in August 2019 entered an open plea to charges of capital murder.
The Abilene Reporter-News reports Alexander Lopez, Courtney Whitley, and Casey Kennedy entered the plea on Wednesday and will be sentenced at a later date. According to the Reporter-News, the three roommates were indicted by a grand jury on October 17, 2019.
KTAB/KRBC-TV reports Kelly Holder was discovered unresponsive inside a residence on the 1700 block of South 5th Street on August 3. The three roommates — Lopez, Whitley, and Kennedy — were taken in for questioning and reportedly had discrepancies in their stories. According to court documents cited by KTAB/KRBC, the roommates were reportedly upset with Holder because they believed she caused Whitley to suffer a miscarriage.
They reportedly told police they believed Holder "let men enter the house while everyone was sleeping so they could rape Courtney and Casey," according to KTAB/KRBC. The roommates allegedly confronted Holder about Whitley's miscarriage and allegedly started beating her because they didn't like Holder's answers.
According to documents, the roommates allegedly "wanted her to feel the pain of a miscarriage." Holder was reportedly six weeks pregnant at the time of her death.
The three reportedly punched and kicked Holder in the chest and strangled her. Whitley allegedly bounced on Holder’s torso, KTAB/KRBC reports, and allegedly also sexually abused her with a wooden rod.
Lopez and Kennedy reportedly told investigators at first that they had gone on a walk and discovered Holder in the bathtub. Officers, however, reportedly discovered Whitley hiding in the house. Holder was transported to a hospital where she and her fetus were pronounced dead, according to the Abilene Reporter-News. A doctor reportedly told police Holder suffered an "extensive beating."
KTXS-TV reports an autopsy determined Holder died from "traumatic blunt force injuries and asphyxiation."