Jacob Holly, Charged with Murder, Gets New Court Date

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The trial of Jacob Holly, accused of killing a father and stabbing the man’s son this summer near Elkins, has been reschedule for May 22, court officials said Tuesday (Feb. 12).

Holly’s trial was set to begin Nov. 13, but Washington County Circuit Judge Mark Lindsay rescheduled the trial to begin Feb. 12 to give attorneys more time to prepare their cases and for Holly to undergo additional medical tests, officials said.

The trial was reset until May to give attorneys more time to prepare legal matters, officials said.

On Sept. 7, Holly pleaded not guilty at his arraignment before a magistrate at the Washington County Detention Center. Not-guilty pleas are standard at felony arraignments to allow the case to proceed to court.

Holly, being held on a $100,000 bond, is charged with second-degree murder and first-degree battery, records show. Holly pleaded not guilty to both charges at his arraignment before Magistrate Judge Ray Reynolds.

Holly, 27, of Rogers was arrested July 15 after officials recovered the body of Chris Kelley, 44, of Elkins, from the White River on that day.

Holly is accused of killing Kelley and stabbing his son, Shawn Kelley, 22, also of Elkins, near the White River bridge on Arkansas 74.

Holly flagged down an off-duty officer about 10 p.m. on July 14 and said he stabbed two people who were trying to drown him.

“The victim showed up at the Shell station in Elkins with some cuts and stabbed wounds,” Sgt. Tion Augustine said.

Washington County sheriff’s deputies and Elkins police searched into the night on July 14 under the bridge and a wooded area for Chris Kelley. The search turned to the White River, where his body was found about 2 p.m. on July 15.

Alcohol was involved, police said, but they did not know to what degree.

In the backseat of a patrol car, Holly yelled that he was the victim and was the one who had been trying to call 911.

“Help,” he yelled as deputies drove him away before midnight. “I’ve been denied medical treatment.”

Police denied the claim.

“He complained that he has a broken hand. He has from what I understand a cut in his fingers and a scraped knee and chin,” Augustine said. “He was checked by [EMS] personnel.”