Court documents obtained Wednesday by EverythingLubbock.com revealed new steps into the investigation related to Holli Jeffcoat. The court documents show that in March an officer of the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office obtained a warrant to search two cellular telephones.
The sheriff’s department believed one of those cell phones was owned by James Bryant Holland, the step-father of murdered teen Holli Jeffcoat. Jeffcoat was found killed in her Lubbock County home on February 10, and the sheriffs office said James Holland was a potential suspect in that murder. No charges have been filed in Jeffcoat’s murder.
Since her murder, James Holland was arrested for continuous sexual assault of a child. Court records said the victim was one of Jeffcoat’s close female family members.
The most recent court records repeated an allegation from previous court records, specifically, the girl made an outcry to her counselor that Holland had been having sex with her for 3 to 5 times per week for about 2 and-a-half years.
The girl added that Holland began fondling 6 years ago when she was in elementary school and that Holland began having sex with her during her junior high school year. According to the new court records, It was during that interview that the girl said Holland took pictures of her naked genitalia.
The girl believed these photographs were still present on Holland’s phone, and the sheriff’s office believed these photos will aid them in their investigation.
The newest court records, however, do not yet reveal if such images were found. The documents only reveal that investigators were looking for them.
If the photographs exist, investigators believe “that these photographs constitute possession of child pornography.”
Court records claimed not only that the girl came forward, but also that Jeffcoat made an outcry of sexual abuse against Holland prior to her murder.
Holland was arrested on March 10 and was still held Wednesday in the Lubbock County Detention Center.
Leslie Timmons with the Voice of Hope Rape Crisis Center in Lubbock explained that for many of the victims they work with, their perpetrators will also have graphic images stores on their phones.
“That is common with rapists, with murderers, with any kind of violent crime. Perpetrators like to re-live the whole event, the whole experience. They’ll take what we call a trophy of the event– whether it be a piece of jewelry, undergarments, a lock of hair, they consider it’s a trophy,” Timmons explained. “When they’re at a point of needing a fix, they’ll get the trophy and photographs, videos to re-live that whole experience.”
Timmons explained that this begins what is called serial perpetration, in which each experience motivates the perpetrator to commit another crime.
“When you start seeing that escalation of things like that, that is very concerning that they are gonna go to that next level because what they are doing now is not enough for them so they escalate to the next level,” Timmons said. “So with the trophies and things like that, it’s a pretty good warning sign that their current crime is not meeting their needs so they go to a more severe level of perpetration.”
Timmons added that Holli’s female family member’s behavior of denying instances of sexual abuse at first and then admitting them, is very common amongst victims of extreme abuse, especially children. She added that many victims of such severe abuse aren’t able to open up about what they’ve experienced without the help of good counseling.
This case breaks her heart, and Timmons advises anyone who sees people in their lives who may be experiencing abuse to help seek out help.
“Kids are very easily intimidated and aren’t likely many times to come forward to get help, and as adults– as people that should be protecting kids–we need to say something, if we get a gut feeling that its not right, report it to someone,” she said.
(James Clark, Alyssa Goard and David Ewerz contributed to this story)