Suspected Child Killer Attacked in Jail

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Zachary Holly and Michael Moran

Zachary Holly, 28, accused in the rape and death of a Bentonville girl was attacked in jail early Tuesday, according to authorities.

Jail trustee, Michael Moran, 29, was helping a deputy pass out clean laundry to inmates around 6:40 a.m. Tuesday, when he opened Holly’s unlocked cell and assaulted him in the Benton County Jail, Capt. Chris Sparks said.

The supervising deputy unlocked the cell door, then turned away to look inside two other cells, at the time of the attack, according to Sparks.

The deputy immediately called for backup when he saw what was happening, investigators said. Moran was believed to be in the cell for only a few seconds.

Holly suffered minor injuries, including a small bump on his head, Capt. Sparks said.

Holly was arrested Tuesday on capital murder, kidnapping and burglary charges in connection with the killing of Bentonville kindergartner Jersey Bridgeman one week after her body was found in a vacant home at 704 S.E. A St. two doors down from her house.

Jail guards will keep Holly away from other inmates for his protection, Capt. Sparks said. From now on, trustees will deliver food and clean laundry to him through a small opening to his cell or they will be delivered by a deputy.

“We worry about inmates in our facility who are involved in big cases,” said Sparks. “We realize there are victims on the outside, yes. But it’s our job to keep inmates safe while they are in our facility.”

Moran,  jailed on a parole violation, could face additional battery charges, Sparks added. Moran was sent to a disciplinary pod, where he’ll be locked up for 23 hours a day and had commissary and phone privileges revoked.

Holly is being held without bond on charges of capital murder, rape, kidnapping, and burglary.

Click here to read more coverage of the murder investigation.