Holt murder trial delayedGrand jury brings first-degree indictment WINDOM — The trial of Gerard Irving Holt, scheduled to begin today in Cottonwood County District Court, has been postponed for the time being.
By: Justine Wettschreck, Worthington Daily Globe
WINDOM — The trial of Gerard Irving Holt, scheduled to begin today in Cottonwood County District Court, has been postponed for the time being.
Holt, arrested in November 2007 on a charge of second-degree murder, was indicted by a grand jury Friday on first- and second-degree murder charges in the death of Alberto Samilpa Jr. In the State of Minnesota, a person cannot be charged with first-degree murder without an indictment from a grand jury.
Also known as Gerald Holt, Ivan Lopez and Latin, Holt and several others are accused of murdering Samilpa just days after his 20th birthday. Samilpa’s body was found lying on the side of a county road near Delft next to a burning car. The body was partially burned, but had also suffered multiple gun shots to the head and a stabbing to the neck. The bullets retrieved from the body are believed to have from a .22 caliber weapon.
According to the criminal complaints, the murder happened after several of the individuals involved had allegedly burglarized a home near Mankato, stealing a variety of things including firearms and two vehicles. One of the vehicles stolen, a 1999 Porsche, was the car found burning next to Samilpa’s dead body. During interviews with authorities, some of the men involved said the Porsche broke down while Samilpa was driving, which angered the others. The second vehicle, a Lincoln Navigator, was taken to rural Watonwan County and torched.
During the investigation, some of the people involved were identified from a surveillance video at a convenience station, where the two stolen vehicles had been observed.
One of the men had used a credit card under his own name to pay for fuel. Hans Hottel, 21, of Mankato, was charged with second-degree murder with intent-not premeditated and aiding an offender, but the murder charge was dismissed in May 2008. He pleaded guilty to the aiding an offender charge in December 2008 and was sentenced to a year in the Cottonwood County Jail, with credit for time served.
Holt, 23, was also charged with second-degree murder with intent-not premeditated, as was Axel Rene Kramer, 21. Lionel Benavidez, 22, also known as Blaze, was charged with the same count, plus aiding an offender. Kramer and Benavidez were also indicted by the grand jury.
At the time of his murder, Samilpa was facing criminal charges of his own, after being accused of raping a teenage girl at a party in October 2006.