Public Safety

Judge increases bail for woman charged with killing boyfriend after she violated terms of release 2 weeks ago

Judge sets bail at $75,000

Jacqueline Holmes
Jacqueline Holmes

CEDAR RAPIDS — A judge increased bail to $75,000 for a Cedar Rapids woman charged with killing her boyfriend after earlier dropping it by more than $500,000, only to see the woman violate terms of her release and end up back in jail.

Jacqueline Holmes, 36, charged with first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of Tremaine Williams, 35, on March 4, again will be allowed to be released if she pays 10 percent — $7,500 — to the court clerk, 6th Judicial District Chief Judge Patrick Grady ruled Wednesday.

“The court is now confronted with, at minimum, an unfortunate confluence of events that does nothing to enhance the public’s belief in the competence of the criminal justice system or its fairness,” Grady said in the ruling. “The court remains unimpressed with the prosecutor’s argument that bond should be set at $1 million cash only because everybody else is doing it. That recommendation flies in the face of the law’s requirement that each case be decided on its own merits.”

Grady, in the ruling, also said the defense attorneys and Holmes herself are not without fault. One of her lawyers should have been able to explain the specifics of the first bond order and the importance of being on her “best behavior.”

“Her decision to apparently drink to the point of intoxication her first night out of jail shows a lack of insight into her predicament and what was possibly a contributing factor,” Grady said.

Grady also required Holmes, if released, to be under the supervision of the Department of Correctional Services, and she cannot leave the state. Holmes has to live at a residence preapproved by the department. She must have weekly contact with a probation officer and electronic monitoring may be used, according to his order.

Holmes also can’t have contact with any witness in the case, except in a court proceeding or deposition, and she can’t consume alcohol during pretrial release, according to the order.

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Assistant Linn County Attorney Jordan Schier said Thursday he respects the judge’s rulings and decisions but still believes the bail should be higher.

“I believe that we have an obligation to protect the community from violent offenses,” Schier said.

Over two weeks ago, Grady reduced Holmes’ bail during a bond review hearing from $750,000 to $25,000, and she was allowed to pay $2,500 to the court clerk, which she did and was released.

That night, police responded to two disturbance calls at the residence where the fatal stabbing happened in March and where a witness lived. Holmes was intoxicated and got into arguments with the witness and another woman.

Grady was told at the bond hearing that Holmes would be living with her brother, Phillip Rogers, but Rogers isn’t her brother. He is the main witness to the crime, and she wasn’t allowed to have contact with him.

Grady, in his ruling, said it was his oversight, not making the connection of Rogers being the witness.

Schier, at the previous hearing, said a higher amount of bail isn’t unusual for murder charges. He pointed out eight defendants charged with murder were in jail with bail set at $1 million or more.

Schier also said based on Holmes’ actions when released — and trying to take three butane lighters and an eyebrow razor, both hidden in her bra, into the jail after her arrest — she could be a danger to the community.

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Tyler Johnston, Holmes’ lawyer, during that hearing said he didn’t inform Holmes that she couldn’t have contact with the witnesses. He also suggested that police were already watching her after her release.

Holmes also was charged with possession of a weapon in a correctional facility when she tried to take the lighters and razor into the jail. Grady previously set bail in that case for $5,000, which she is allowed to pay 10 percent with the clerk.

Holmes will have to pay $8,000 for both cases in order to be released. She was still in jail Thursday.

Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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