Judge Denies Motion To Suppress DNA Evidence In Accused Child Killer’s Case

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BENTONVILLE (KFSM) – Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren on Tuesday (April 21) denied a motion by Zachary Holly’s lawyers to suppress the accused child killer’s DNA swab in next month’s capital murder trial.

Robby Golden, a Little Rock lawyer representing Holly, argued that the detective taking a DNA swab from Holly’s mouth in November 2012 should have first advised him that he had the right to refuse.  Golden said he wanted current state law extended to require a criminal suspect to be told upfront that he can deny a swab just as police must tell someone in a residence he can deny entry.

Holly’s lawyers filed the motion on April 15 to suppress the DNA evidence, according to court documents.

Nathan Smith, the county prosecuting attorney, noted that Holly agreed to the DNA swab and even signed a consent form on Nov. 20, the date the sample was taken.

Karren ruled in the prosecutor’s favor, saying state law doesn’t require a suspect to be told ahead of time that he can refuse to give a DNA sample.

Holly, shown in the picture above leaving court Tuesday wearing a coat and tie,  is charged with raping and killing Jersey Bridgeman, 6, in Bentonville in 2012. He faces the death sentence if found guilty.

The child lived at 608 S.E. A St. with her mother, who called the police early in the morning of Nov. 20, 2012, to report her daughter was missing. Officers found the child’s body fewer than 15 minutes later in a nearby vacant house at 704 S.E. A St., officials said.

Court documents state that Holly and his wife babysat the child the night of her death while her mother, DesaRae Bridgeman, and Bridgeman’s boyfriend were working at a nearby convenience store.

A swab test on Jersey Bridgeman’s body showed traces of sperm, according to court documents. The cause of death was ruled as asphyxiation, documents state.

Holly consented to cheek swabs for DNA comparison and also gave authorities the clothing he had worn since going to bed the night of Jersey Bridgeman’s death, documents state.

Holly’s jury trial has been set for May 11, officials said.