Roger Earl Holland, an Apple Valley man accused of killing his pregnant wife and her unborn child, was indicted on two counts of premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder on Monday by a Dakota County Grand Jury.
On March 7, police found Holland's pregnant wife, 37-year-old Marjorie Ann Holland, at the bottom of the stairs in Holland's Apple Valley townhome after receiving a 911 call from Holland. Apple Valley medical personnel were unable to resuscitate her.
Margorie Holland was transported to Fairview Ridges Hospital. She was declared dead at 11:24 a.m. She was 15 weeks pregnant at the time.
Holland initially told police that he was out picking up breakfast and had returned home to find his wife lying unresponsive at the bottom of the stairs. He told investigators that he began CPR before calling 911, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Dakota County Attorney's Office.
Holland allegedly told police that his relationship with his wife was good and that they did not have any financial problems. Both had served overseas with the National Guard. The pair had been married for approximately a year and a half prior to her death and had been dating for some time before their marriage.
But evidence at the scene, a suspicious Internet search and text messages between the pair called his account into question.
Medical personnel found bruising and abrasions on Marjorie Holland's head, face, hands, legs, ankles and feet. Investigators allegedly found hemorrhaging in her neck muscles, broken thyroid cartilage and broken blood vessels in her eyes that are consistent with strangulation. The medical examiner eventually ruled that Marjorie Holland's cause of death was strangulation, not a fall down the stairs.
Police also found a large number of argumentative text messages between the two sent in the weeks leading up to March 7. Although some of the text messages had been deleted, police were able to recover several messages regarding the couple's financial problems—and one message in which Marjorie Holland accused her husband of stealing her credit cards.
In one exchange on March 1, Holland allegedly asked how she felt. She texted back: "Like I hate my life, I hate the man I married, and I wish I could erase the past three years."
In another message, sent on March 6, the victim allegedly told her husband that she wanted a divorce.
Police also found a suspicious data entry on Holland's phone, dated March 6, which may have been related to an Internet search: "if you pass out and fall down a flight of stairs can you breakyour neckcan your neck be broken if you are."
Holland, 36, was originally charged in March with two counts of second-degree murder. But Backstrom announced at a press conference on March 11 that he would seek a grand jury indictment for first-degree murder.
"These charges reflect allegations that this was a premeditated and intentional
domestic-related homicide that tragically claimed the life of Margorie Holland and her unborn child," Backstrom wrote in a press release issued Tuesday. "Our deep sympathy is extended to the victim’s family and friends."
If convicted on a single count of first-degree premeditated murder, Holland could face life imprisonment.
Holland, 36, is expected to make his first appearance in court on the grand jury charges within the next several days. He currently remains in custody in the Dakota County Jail, having failed to post the bail previously set in connection with this case.