HOUSTON – After the video of 15-year-old Chad Holley being beaten and kicked by Houston police created a national furor in 2010, Holley was convicted of burglary, and completed a probated sentence.
What followed were years in and out of jail, for burglary, theft and tresspassing. Those years were punctuated by dozens of probation violations, culminating with capital murder charges.
“That’s the last person who should have gotten probation, and had he been in prison for 10 or 15 years, maybe we wouldn’t have the situation today, we have a dead guy,” said Ray Hunt, president of the Houston Police Officers Union.
Holley had completed probation on the original burglary charge when he was convicted with a second charge in 2012.
Again, he was sentenced to probation, seven years this time, under a deferred-adjudication agreement.
“You just don’t give probation when they’ve already had one burglary conviction,” Hunt said.
In 2015, Holley violated probation and was jailed for a while, but was later released.
A check of court records shows that over a four-year period, Holley was cited a total of 47 times for probation violations.
“In my experience, a single violation is enough to get you sent to the penitentiary,” said Brian Wice, Channel 2 legal analyst.
Violations included reports that Holley repeatedly broke curfew, failed to report to his probation supervisor and failed to pay court costs and restitution.
In October 2016, Holley was arrested again for probation violations and charged with theft and trespassing. He was in jail when he was charged in the murder of 42-year-old David Trejo-Gonzalez, who was killed during a robbery.
Holley’s court appointed attorney, Philip Scardino, says he believes the murder case is weak, in that it rests on the word of a single witness.
Scardino also said he’s not familiar with Holley’s previous record.
The judge supervising the 2012 burglary case, David Medoza, was not available for comment today. Neither was Holley's long-time supporter, Quannel X.