BENTON -- The Bossier Parish horse farm handyman accused of trying to kill his boss by planting a homemade bomb under the intended victim's bed is scheduled to go on trial Monday.
Douglas Holley, 56, is accused of detonating a pipe bomb underneath the bedroom floor of veterinarian Bobby Hewlett's home at Holly Hill farm outside Benton on Dec. 19, 2015. Hewlett and his wife, Tracy, along with four pets were knocked out of bed by the force of the blast, but the thickness of the floors of the farm house are credited with dispersing much of the force of the blast. Shrapnel from the bomb was embedded in the couple's mattress.
Investigators said Holley, who worked as a handyman on the Hewletts' farm, became obsessed because the veterinarian was unable to save a horse named Charlie that died of colic. The Hewletts said they were unaware of any animosity.
Holley, who is jailed under $6.1 million bond, is charged with attempted first-degree murder, two counts of manufacturing/possessing a bomb and one count of possession of illegal weapons. He has pleaded not guilty.
"This is a circumstantial-evidence case," defense attorney Randall Fish said. "There are a number of dots (the prosecution) did not, and cannot, connect."
A second, unexploded bomb was found in the intended victims' home and other bomb-making components were found at Holley's residence on the farm, investigators said. Authorities said they have also found evidence of bomb-making research.
Holley had worked at Holly Hill for four years.
The bombing was the latest in a series of explosions in that area of Bossier Parish. Between October 2010 and November 2016, there were approximately 60 instances where deer camps were burned or burglarized, deer stands were stolen or vandalized, deer cameras were stolen, and homemade metal spikes were placed on roads to flatten vehicles' tires.
Messages were left, Scriptures were written on bags of chips, toilets were placed in driveways, and a rotting possum was left on one grill. A man has been charged with arson in one of those cases but prosecutors believe he's responsible for the others.
"I'm sure (the prosecution) will dispute any connection," Fish said of the deer camp cases and the bombing at the horse farm. "That thing's got legs. It's a circumstance they can't dispute."