BENTON -- A Bossier Parish horse farm handyman who became obsessed over the death of his horse was convicted Friday of trying to kill the veterinarian by detonating a homemade bomb under the intended victim's bed.
The eight-man, four-woman Bossier District Court jury deliberated 37 minutes before finding Douglas Holley, 56, guilty as charged of trying to murder veterinarian Bobby Hewlett and his wife, Tracy.
Holley showed no reaction as the courtroom clerk read the verdict. He has been jailed since the December 2015 bombing and faces up to 160 years in prison. District Judge Parker Self will sentence Holley on Nov. 20.
The Hewlett's declined comment on Friday's verdict.
Holley was charged with detonating a pipe bomb underneath the bedroom floor of the Hewletts' home at Holly Hill Farm just outside Benton on December 19, 2015. The Hewletts, 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, which included fishing weights, was embedded in the couple's mattress.
Prosecutors said Holley, who worked as a handyman on the Hewletts' farm, became obsessed because the veterinarian was unable to save his horse, Charlie, which suffered from colic and was euthanized. The Hewletts said they were unaware of any animosity. The horse is buried on the farm.
Holley acted as his own attorney. He fired the public defender's office earlier this year after disagreements over trial strategy, although Self ordered a public defender to be in the courtroom as a legal advisor during the trial. Holley did not make opening or closing statements and did little cross-examination of witnesses during the trial's three days of testimony.
He rejected a plea offer from the district attorney at the start of the trial where he would receive a 40-year sentence, retroactive to the day of his arrest two and a half years ago.
District Attorney Schuyler Marvin said Holley, in an interview with investigators after his arrest, expressed admiration for bombers Ted Kaczynski and Timothy McVeigh. Marvin said a notebook seized from Holley's residence contained excerpts indicating Holley planned to kill the veterinarian to avenge his horse's "murder."