Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Neighbor Arrested in Jersey Bridgeman Murder

The neighbor charged in the killing of a 6-year-old Arkansas girl was a family friend, police said Tuesday.
Bentonville Police Chief Jon Simpson described Zachary Holly, 28, as "an acquaintance" and a family friend who is from the area. Holly is being held in the Benton County Jail on charges of capital murder, kidnapping and residential burglary.
Jersey Bridgeman, whose high-profile child abuse case last year sent her father and stepmother to prison, was reported missing the morning of Nov. 20. Minutes after a search for her began, Jersey's body was discovered in an abandoned house two doors from her home in Bentonville.
Holly and his wife live next door to where Jersey was staying, police said. Court records show the couple was married in March. Holly worked at a fast-food restaurant, Simpson said.
Simpson told The Associated Press the couple didn't have any children, but that Holly's wife has a child who is "pretty much the same age as our victim." Simpson would not give specifics on how well the families knew each other.
When asked if Jersey and the child of Holly's wife were friends, Simpson said, "They're the same age, I think you could categorize them as family friends, acquaintances, all that."

Jersey's short life was checkered with discomfort. About a year before her death, her father and stepmother were charged with abuse after investigators discovered they had chained her to a dresser to stop her wandering around the house at night. David Bridgeman, Jersey's father, told investigators he restrained his daughter to prevent her from getting into medication and other things around the house.Simpson said Monday that Holly will have a bail and probable cause hearing Wednesday, during which a probable cause affidavit will be released. At that point, "many questions related to this investigation and arrest will be answered," Simpson said.
He wouldn't release details Tuesday of how Jersey died or what led police to Holly, nor would he discuss possible motives.
Prosecutor Van Stone didn't return phone messages Tuesday seeking comment.
David and Jana Bridgeman, Jersey's stepmother, pleaded guilty in June to false imprisonment, permitting abuse of a minor and endangering the welfare of a minor.
Jana Bridgeman is serving a 12-year prison sentence, plus three years for a probation revocation. David Bridgeman is serving an 18-year prison sentence.
Police Capt. Justin Thompson said there was "no reason ... for the community to be worried at this point," but otherwise revealed little more about the homicide investigation in Bentonville some 215 miles northwest of Little Rock.
Thompson said the girl died sometime between midnight and 6:53 a.m. on the day her body was found. He would not say who called 911 to report her missing. Investigators later searched the home where she lived and the house where her body was found, as well as the homes in between.
A funeral for Jersey is set for 1 p.m. Tuesday at Rollins Funeral Chapel in Rogers.


Anonymous said...

Tears falling.

Anonymous said...

Jersey was a beautiful girl.
RIP,little angel.
(Crying too)

Mainah said...

OT:Last Friday...
Seventeen-year-old Jordan Russell Davis was shot and murdered by 45-year-old Michael David Dunn after the two got into a verbal confrontation over loud music.


Shooter felt "threatened"...we shall see...

Mainah said...

"Jersey's short life was checkered with discomfort."

^"discomfort" seems minimizing

I'm glad they got the perp so quick.

Anonymous said...

This is why I never go to bed or leave the house without turning on the alarm. This is an example of why life is so unfair. Her 6 years of life were so tough...RIP little Jersey

Anonymous said...

Please help find Ayla

^"discomfort" seems minimizing
Is minimizing. She should have been in the best care the state had to offer.

Jazzie said...

DHS Conducts Child Death Review for Jersey Bridgeman


Too little. Too overwhelmed? Too late.

Apple said...

This reminds me of Peter's timely post, "children of neglect".
Who was responsible for Jersey in her short life? Who was making sure she was safe and happy and healthy? Where were her protectors? I do not believe this was a random kidnapping. Opportunity was there and i wonder who else is involved.
You are in a better place, Jersey.

Jazzie said...

Another beautiful child gone.
This is not tragedy.
It is hell on earth.

Justice for the silenced
and innocent ones.

BostonLady said...

I haven't followed this closely. I saw the photo of this beautiful little girl and once again am left to wonder, why. Why so much evil in this world.

Jazzie said...

Children of neglect are often a pawn.
Of the times. Of the system. Of the bio family.
Remove them? Don't remove them?
Statistics suck.
Foster care vs. Keep family intact.
Data can be twisted to prove anything you want.
Common sense should rule.
For God's sakes man, Jersey was NEVER safe with ANY member of her biological family.
How many children need to die before it takes someone to realize the simple equation?
Protect the Children.

Jazzie said...

"Jersey's short life was checkered with discomfort."

F#@k You.
It's called Child Abuse. Endangerment.
Ahhh... like if she was never found shackled to a dresser she would have died!
You Ignorant Journalistic Jackass.

Anonymous said...

Off topic: IRT Dylan Redwine


"I can't believe you can be married to someone to 20 years and they could say those kinds of things about you," Mark Redwine told KRDO Newschannel 13.

Mark didn't want to go on camera, and said he has avoided the media thus far because he doesn't want to interfere with the search for his son or say anything negative about his ex, with whom he said he had a messy divorce.

He said his son, "means everything to me."

"I'm just trying to let the authorities do their job," he said. "My only concern right now is Dylan."


Does this remind anyone else of Justin DiPietro???

Jazzie said...

Dylan Redwine case:

"We haven’t identified anyone as a suspect at this point,” La Plata County Sheriff’s spokesperson Dan Bender said. “But the investigation is looking at a possible abduction or the possibility of a runaway”


Anonymous said...

Notice how the news article minimizes her life of horrific abuse by calling it "discomfort"!

Anonymous said...

Holly attacked by another inmate


QChick said...

Holly was attacked by an inmate trustee in jail for parole violation. Holly got two bruises on his temple. Too bad trustee did not have shank. Now Holly will be escorted around-that might have been their only chance. I have zero sympathy for child killers/abusers/neglecters!

Tania Cadogan said...

Captain Chris Sparks with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office said Zachary Holly was attacked by an inmate Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. while being held in the Benton County Jail.

Who Got Arrested?
A collection of mug shots from Benton and Washington counties.

Sparks said a jail trustee named Michael Lee Moran was helping a deputy hand out clean towels and clothes. When the deputy had his backed turned, Moran attacked Holly inside his cell, Sparks said.

Holly is being held in an administrative lock down.

Several deputies were alerted and were able to break up the fight. Sparks said Moran, who was in jail on a felony parole violation, is now being held in lock down as well. He faces battery charges, Sparks said.

Holly suffered a small bruise to his left temple. Sparks said whenever Holly is now removed from his cell, several deputies will escort him to prevent future incidents from happening.

Bentonville police arrested Holly Monday in connection to the death of 6-year-old Jersey Bridgeman. The 28-year-old faces capital murder, kidnapping, and residential burglary charges.

His arraignment is scheduled Wedenesday at 1:30 p.m

Read more: http://www.4029tv.com/news/arkansas/northwest/Holly-attacked-by-inmate-in-Benton-County-jail/-/8897460/17576038/-/md6434/-/index.html#ixzz2DXFsWwyH

BostonLady said...

Who was the little girl living with if the parents were in jail when this happened? This little girl had an awful life in her short time on this planet. She was abused by her parents and who knows what else she endured only to be killed by the neighbor? EVIL.

This is heartbreaking.

QChick said...

@Boston Lady

Jersey was living with her bio mom. The parents in jail are her bio dad and stepmother. I am not sure if her bio mom was re-married and there is a stepfather.

Tania Cadogan said...

BENTONVILLE, Ark. – A northwest Arkansas man accused of killing a 6-year-old neighbor appeared in court Wednesday for the first time since his arrest, where it emerged that prosecutors had added rape to the list of preliminary charges against him.

Zachary Holly appeared to be shaking during the early portion of the hearing in his hometown of Bentonville, a community 215 miles northwest of Little Rock that's best known for being home to Wal-Mart's headquarters.

Judge Robin Green ruled there was enough evidence to justify keeping Holly locked up on preliminary charges of capital murder, rape, kidnapping and residential burglary. She assigned a public defender to represent Holly and ordered him held without bond. He has not been formally charged, and his next court appearance is scheduled for January.

Authorities haven't said how Holly's neighbor, Jersey Bridgeman, was killed, but they were expected to release probable cause documents later Wednesday that would include further details about the investigation.

Jersey's body was found shortly after she was reported missing Nov. 20 in a vacant home adjacent to Holly's and two doors down from her own. Investigators believe she was killed earlier that day.

Holly, who police say was friends with the girl's family, was arrested Monday. He was being held in Benton County Jail, where on Tuesday an inmate managed to slip into his cell while helping hand out fresh clothes and towels and attack Holly, jail Capt. Chris Sparks said Wednesday. He said Holly wasn't seriously injured, and that the inmate, who was in jail on a parole violation, could face additional charges.

"Obviously this case has gotten a lot of exposure in the media and all the inmates know what he's in for..." Sparks said. "We're going to do our best to try and keep him safe, just like we do every other inmate."

Bentonville police Chief Jon Simpson said Holly was friends with Jersey's family, and that he worked at a restaurant in town called The Flying Burrito Company. The manager, Tabitha Stevens, confirmed that Holly worked there but declined to comment further.

One neighbor, Julie Pickard, said Tuesday that Holly wept the day Jersey's body was found.

"He was crying for a long time," said Pickard, who lives on the other side of the home where Jersey's body was found.

Later that day, Pickard said, police knocked on her door and told her to let them know if she saw a man wearing Mountain Dew pajama pants.

"(Holly) was wearing Mountain Dew pajama pants," Pickard said.

No one answered the door Tuesday at the mobile home where police say Holly lived with his wife. A child's bicycle rested on a patch of grass near the home.

Simpson told The Associated Press that couple didn't have any children together but that Holly's wife, Amanda Holly, has a child who is "pretty much the same age as our victim." It wasn't immediately clear if the child was living with Holly and his wife.

Amanda Holly's family issued a statement through a lawyer Wednesday asking for privacy.

"Jersey was a very sweet girl who our children and grandchildren considered their best friend. Because of this, we ask for privacy. The children in our family are not dealing well with the loss of their friend," the family said. Joshua Bryant, the lawyer, declined to say how many children Amanda Holly has.

Jersey's mother, DesaRae Bridgeman, and other relatives laid her to rest Tuesday in a cemetery less than a mile from her home. The family has requested privacy.

Jersey's short life was not an easy one. Last year, her father, David Bridgeman, and stepmother, Jana Bridgeman, were arrested for chaining her to a dresser in their home in the nearby town of Rogers. David Bridgeman told investigators that he restrained the girl to keep her from getting into medication and other things in the house.

Tania Cadogan said...

They both pleaded guilty in June to charges of false imprisonment, permitting the abuse of a minor and endangering the welfare of a minor. She is serving a 12-year prison sentence, plus three years for a probation revocation. He is serving an 18-year prison sentence.

Jersey moved in with her mother and for a short time at least, apparently got a fresh start, enrolling in kindergarten this fall.

Those who knew Jersey say she was full of joy despite the heartbreak that had already befallen her.

"I don't know how she dealt with it, but she dealt with it and she still smiled the whole time," Mike Whitcomb, who was friends with her father, said Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone taking issue with the word discomfort. That's a very silly word in this context---you could have gone with 'her life was uncomfy' and rendered the same level of profundity. Come on now.

Anonymous said...

@Jazzie, now that's more accurate than uncomfy.

Anonymous said...

Holly's worthless wife better hurry her child over to a doctor to see if she's been molested too (inferred from judge's probable cause above in Jersey case.) Let's see what you've been turning a blind eye to, lady.

Anonymous said...

How did so many sex offenders end up on the same street? I read an article that stated 3 to 4registered offenders lived in a couple blocks area...did they notify anyone? Doesn't seem like these folks gave a damn about such things.

Anonymous said...

That is the first thing i thought when reading this:-(

rob said...

How did Jersey end up with the father instead of the mother in the first place. Makes me think she had some issues, also. But then she gets custody, and look what happens. Something has to change for these children. They don't stand a chance.
And if they survive their life until adulthood, alot of times, the people around them don't stand a chance, because they don't know what normal is. It's a vicious cycle, that I don't know how to break.

Anonymous said...

Why do people always play the blame game really unless you have been on the same situation don't criticize.ok maybe the mom didn't have the funds to fight for custody or maybe she was wrong and made mistakes who knows why the child was with her father.I for one seriously doubt after such a high profile child abuse case she could've retained custody and she has another child,not to mention the lady was a working single mom who thought the nice couple with a kid the same age could baby sit.as for the wife really people come on your condeming someone for marrying and trusting her spouse because if you look at this type of crime its usually done by those who are model citizens or know how to blend in.Look at all of the child molesting preachers,priest,boy scout leaders and daycare employees really so what that doesn't matter bcz they didn't slay their victims it was a murder of innocence and just as horrific.We can't blame those for trusting they are victims too whether you like it or not.its a cruel fact and its evil and sad but we can just pray for the innocent victims and their families.

rob said...

When I hear of one of these cases, a five yr old child who has suffered so much, I ask, why? The father and the stepmother surely seem to be of the same makeup, considering what was done to the child in their home. But then I have to ask, why was she in that home, why not her mothers? I'm not blaming the mother, just trying to fill in the blanks. She at one time was involved with the father. Did she find out who she was and leave him, only to have her child taken from her, given to the man she feared herself? Was she just like him? Did she run off and leave her child there? Will more come out on either or both? Are there CPS records? When acts like this happen, they gererally don't come from a one-time incident. Its on-going, there is history.
I do pray for the children.

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