Handyman convicted of trying to kill boss with pipe bomb
BENTON, La. (KTBS) — A Bossier Parish horse farm handyman who became obsessed over the death of his horse was convicted Friday of trying to kill the horse’s veterinarian — his boss — by detonating a bomb under the man’s bedroom.
The eight-man, four-woman Bossier District Court jury deliberated 37 minutes before finding Douglas Holley, 56, guilty as charged of trying to murder veterinarian Bobby Hewlett and his wife, Tracy.
Holley showed no reaction as the courtroom clerk read the verdict. He has been jailed since the December 2015 bombing and faces more than 100 years in prison. District Judge Parker Self will sentence Holley on Nov. 20.
Holley was charged with detonating a pipe bomb underneath the bedroom floor of the Hewletts’ home at Holly Hill Farm west of Benton on Dec. 19, 2015. The Hewletts, along with four pets, were knocked out of bed by the force of the blast, but the thickness of the floors of the farm house are credited with dispersing much of the force of the blast. Shrapnel from the bomb was embedded in the couple’s mattress.
Investigators said Holley, who worked as a handyman on the Hewletts’ farm, became obsessed because the veterinarian was unable to save a horse named Charlie that died of colic. The Hewletts said they were unaware of any animosity. The horse is buried on the farm.
Holley acted as his own attorney. He fired the public defender’s office earlier this year after disagreements over trial strategy, although the judge ordered a public defender to be in the courtroom as a legal advisor during the trial. Holley did not make opening or closing statements and did little cross-examination of witnesses during the trial’s three days of testimony.
He rejected a plea offer from the district attorney at the start of the trial where he would receive a 40-year sentence, retroactive to the day of his arrest two and a half years ago.