CHARLES HOLIFIELD WAIVES RIGHT TO JURY TRIAL AND APPEALS; WILL BE TRIED BY JUDGE FOR MAXIMUM SENTENCE OF LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE
Contact: Lindsey O'Shea, Deputy District Attorney (831) 755-5251
Pursuant to the agreement, Holifield will face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole when he faces trial before Judge Pamela L. Butler on March 2, 2020. Holifield, now 58, was charged in April 2017 with the kidnapping and murder of 13-year-old Christina Williams on June 12, 1998. Williams’s remains were found in Marina on January 12, 1999.
The District Attorney’s Office entered into this agreement after consulting with the Williams family, who expressed their desire for closure and finality of the judgment in their daughter’s case. The decision was also partly based on an executive order issued in March by Governor Gavin Newsom, which created an effective moratorium on the death penalty in California. An executive order is a directive from the governor that does not need approval from the legislature or the voters of the state. In his executive order, Newsom announced that he would not execute any of the 737 prisoners currently on death row during his term as governor, that he would repeal California’s lethal injection protocol, and that he would immediately close the lethal injection chamber at San Quentin.
In California, a prisoner who
receives a death sentence is automatically granted an extensive appeals process
that takes decades to conclude. Death penalty
cases are subject to the highest level of scrutiny by the courts, and many cases
have been overturned a decade or more after the verdict. Holifield’s waiver of writs and appeals will terminate the appellate process and will result in a swift and final judgment when his trial is completed.
Post-trial litigation currently continues in the cases of the following death row inmates whose cases were tried in Monterey County: