A man from Northern Kentucky could spend the rest of his life in jail after admitting in court that he shot and killed a man in August of last year during a robbery.
Zachary Holden Jr., who lives in Florence and is 21 years old, pleaded guilty to murder and first-degree robbery on Monday in connection with the death of Virgil Stewart, who was 60 years old.
The Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office says that Stewart was walking home from his job at a dollar store when he was shot.
A criminal complaint says that Covington police found Stewart passed out on the 15th Street viaduct over the train tracks between Madison Avenue and Russell Street. He was shot once and taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he later died.
In the lawsuit, it says that when police looked at hours of security footage from cameras near the scene, they found that only one car left the area after the murder.
The paper says that police were able to find out that the driver was Latoya Dale, who was 31 years old. Holden was later found to be the shooter because he was dating Dale’s cousin at the time.
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Court records show that Dale is being charged with being a party to murder and a first-degree crime.
Dale told police that she and Holden tried to set up drug deals on Facebook so that they could rob the dealers when they met. She also said that Holden got angry when one of the dealers didn’t show up, so he chose to rob the first person who came along.
Dale told the police that Holden shot Stewart once, and that Stewart ran back to the car. Holden only got $6 out of the heist.
Phone records helped investigators prove that Holden was in Covington at the time of the murder and that he went back to Florence soon after.
Holden is charged with murder and robbery. The prosecutors want him to spend the rest of his life in jail for the murder charge and 20 years for the robbery charge. As part of his plea deal, prosecutors agreed to stop pursuing the death penalty and let parole be an option.
Holden is due back in court on July 17 to get his sentence from Kenton County Circuit Judge Kate Molloy.
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