116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — A judge declared a mistrial in a fatal stabbing of a Cedar Rapids man after it took two years to get the case to trial, which started Tuesday in Linn County District Court.
Jacqueline Holmes, 38, of Cedar Rapids, was on trial for first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of her boyfriend, Tremaine Williams, 35, who was killed after a night of playing cards and drinking alcohol at a friend’s house on March 4, 2020.
The mistrial was called during the second day of jury selection because a potential juror, during individual questioning, told the defense, prosecution and 6th Judicial District Judge Kevin McKeever that he/she had a previous interaction with Holmes, according to the Linn County Attorney’s Office.
Then another juror on the panel, during individual questioning, said that juror also told them about the interaction.
McKeever then declared a mistrial.
Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks said in previous situations, “when there is a concern over whether the actions of a prospective juror may have influenced other potential jurors, we have individually questioned those jurors to see if there actually was an attempt to influence them and if so, whether they could still remain fair and impartial.
“Our prosecutors requested this opportunity, and I was surprised to hear that this remedial measure was not even attempted,” Maybanks later told The Gazette. “But these matters are left up to the judge so we must accept the court’s decision.”
Assistant Linn County Attorneys Jordan Schier and Andrew Powers are prosecuting this case.
This situation is unfortunate, Maybanks said, because of the length of time the case has been pending, and both Williams’ family and the defendant now have to wait even longer for their “day in court.”
The trial will be rescheduled.
According to court documents, three 911 calls were made from 727 Eighth Ave. SW that early morning when Williams was stabbed.
On the third call, Holmes spoke to a police dispatcher. She was crying and said her fiance's chest wasn't “rising.” The dispatcher tried to walk her through CPR, but she said she couldn't because Williams had a laceration near his shoulder.
When officers arrived about 4:25 a.m. at the house of Phillips Rogers, no one answered the door and officers entered through the back door, according to a search warrant affidavit.
They found Williams seriously wounded, lying on the floor and partially blocking the door to the bedroom. Holmes was sitting over the “bloodied” body of Williams, according to the affidavit.
Williams was taken to a hospital and died an hour later.
According to court documents, the fatal stabbing happened after a card game. When interviewed by police, Holmes changed her story several times. She admitted to stabbing Williams and then recanted. She then said she wasn't sure if he was stabbed or shot.
Holmes also said Williams had assaulted her by punching and kicking her in the head, legs and neck, the affidavit stated. One of the investigators noticed a deep laceration on her left pinkie finger. Holmes told the investigator she is left-handed.
Holmes planned to claim self-defense and intoxication at trial, according to court documents.
She pleaded in March to another charge related to her violating pretrial release in this case. Holmes was convicted of attempted possession of contraband — she attempted to take an eyebrow razor and a cigarette lighter into the jail after her arrest. She was sentenced to two days in jail.
Holmes remains in jail under a $100,000 cash-only bail pending trial.
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