CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids woman, charged with killing her boyfriend, will remain in jail pending a judge’s decision on her bail after she was arrested for violating pretrial release and faces a new charge for taking cigarette lighters and an eyebrow razor into the jail.
Jacqueline Holmes, 36, is charged with first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of Tremaine Williams, 35, on March 4.
Last week, 6th Judicial District Chief Judge Patrick Grady reduced her bail from $750,000 to $25,000, and on Tuesday Holmes paid 10 percent — $2,500 — to the court clerk and was released.
That evening, police responded to a disturbance calls at the residence where the fatal stabbing happened and where a witness, Phillip Rogers, lives. One of the conditions of her pretrial release was that Holmes could have no contact with Rogers.
Having violated those conditions, she was arrested Wednesday and taken back to jail.
Higher bail sought
During Thursday’s hearing, held by phone, Assistant Linn County Attorney Jordan Schier asked Judge Grady to increase Holmes’ bail to $1 million cash only. That amount isn’t unusual for murder charges, Schier said, noting eight defendants charged with murder are in jail with bail set at $1 million or more.
Schier argued that based on this week’s, Holmes could be a danger to the community. She tried to take three butane lighters and an eyebrow razor, both hidden in her bra, into the jail after she was arrested, he said.
According to the criminal complaint, Holmes denied having any sharp objects before being admitted into the Linn County Jail. Officers found the items when she was searched.
Schier said Holmes violated the conditions of her release the same day she posted bail.
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Schier said a probation officer called Holmes at 2:20 p.m. Tuesday, but she did not return the call. Police officers also went to Rogers’ address, which Holmes had given as her residence, to verify her address.
During the disturbance call at 1:24 a.m. Wednesday, Rogers and Holmes confronted officers and then Holmes left and made a vague threat that she would “light them up,” Schier said.
Tyler Johnston, Holmes’ lawyer, argued that Holmes met with a probation officer Wednesday. As she was being fitted for a GPS bracelet, police then arrested her on the probation violation.
Johnston said he told the court Holmes was going to live with Rogers, but he didn’t realize that it violated the judge’s order. He said that was his fault.
Johnston questioned whether police were called for those disturbances at Rogers’ house, suggesting police were watching the house because they didn’t like Grady lowering Holmes’ bail.
The prosecutor, he said, should have filed a revocation of pretrial release for Holmes so there could be a hearing and then there wouldn’t have been a reason to charge Holmes with having the objects found at the jail, including what he called an eyebrow shaper, which Johnston argued wasn’t a weapon.
If the judge grants bail, Holmes will live with a cousin in Monticello, Johnston said.
Grady said the prosecutor had made some “outrageous” statements about $1 million cash-only bails.
Those high bails, he said, have been recent “developments” and have not been the standard during his time as a judge. He recalled “two white women.” who had different means than Holmes. and each was given bail.
Every circumstance is different, he added.
He said he didn’t know Holmes gave Rogers’ address as where she was going to live. Johnston should have informed her of the conditions of release, he said.
Grady said he was concerned about the items Holmes carried into the jail.
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The judge said he would take the bail issue under advisement and make a written ruling in a few days.
Grady did place a separate $5,000 cash or surety bail for the new felony charge of possession of a weapon in a correctional institution.
Tabitha Lockhart, Williams’ sister who lives in Illinois, said her family was “completely devastated” that someone charged with first-degree murder in her brother’s death had been given such a low bail.
“My family and I are going through a time beyond painful,” Lockhart told The Gazette on Thursday. “We are trying to live one second at a time. It’s hard to comprehend that he was murdered by someone he cared for.”
Lockhart said she had met Holmes a few times but that she wasn’t Williams’ fiancee, as police reports indicated.
“We are trying to keep the faith that justice will be served, but it’s concerning when you hear things” (like the reduced bail). It’s questionable, especially given all the things going on in the world today.”
Lockhart said her brother was “good person, a good brother and good son” who did not have a police record. The family, she said, would like to be able to grieve and cope with his death but now are faced with going through a trial.
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