The Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office withheld information on the brutal beating of a Ben Wheeler woman for almost three weeks.
After withholding the information from the public for several weeks, the sheriff’s office finally released specifics on the case after, according to Van Zandt County Sheriff R.P. "Pat" Burnett, the family went to a Dallas television station with the story.
The sheriff’s office then shared details about the case with news media when the story broke Tuesday night.
Mr. Holden was arrested March 23 for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and his bond was set at $750,000, but following a bond reduction hearing it was reduced by the district judge to $100,000. He was released on that bond Monday.
Late Wednesday, a Van Zandt County Grand Jury, made up of three women and seven men, indicted Mr. Holden on the original charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, family violence which is a first degree felony.
Mr. Holden was then arrested again Thursday afternoon
by the sheriff’s office and district attorney’s office on two after indictment warrants for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Those warrants carried a $100,000 bond each.
Mr. Holden was arrested early on the morning of March 23 on the aggravated assault charge, following the investigation, and while out on bond, he was required to wear a GPS tracking device.
Sheriff R.P. "Pat" Burnett said Wednesday his office didn’t want to minimize the impact of the case; therefore the information was not released to the public.
"Because of the gravity of the injuries and we didn’t know if he was going to get out of jail or not," Burnett said. "There was also concern for the children’s safety and her (Mrs. Holden’s) safety."
"We just thought it was best to hold the information back," Burnett said.
"The severity of it is part of the reason we didn’t release it to the public," Holt explained about the Holden case. "It was a typical assault family violence case at first."
However, Holt said, the more she began to investigate the case, the more serious they realized it was.
"Her (Mrs. Holden’s) safety has been priority," Holt said.
"We were afraid if he was going to bond out, we didn’t want her in danger," Holt said.
Burnett said Mrs. Holden has been isolated at the hospital and there has been tight security around her since she was taken in almost four weeks ago.
Mrs. Holden was in the Intensive Care Unit for a length of time, and Burnett said hospital staff says due to the infection they will have to "scrap her skull and she will require skin grafts."
Her injuries include bruises, deep cuts and two broken legs.
When asked what made the case unique, Burnett said it was the "severity of the beating."
Holt said Mr. and Mrs. Holden have been together for 13 years and the abuse started seven years ago. About a month ago, Holt said, Mrs. Holden said her husband started starving her and keeping her locked up in a room, monitoring her every move with a surveillance system.
Holt said the sheriff’s office has not dealt with Mr. Holden in the past. She also noted that he is unemployed and was unsure how he was able to post bond the first time.
The investigation is ongoing.