A thinner, more subdued young man faced Judge Paul Patton in Metcalfe Circuit Court October 23. Originally scheduled for a final pre-trial conference, Chris Endicott and his attorneys, Harolyn Howard and Crystal Thompson, had hammered out a plea agreement the previous Friday with Commonwealth Attorney Karen Davis.
In a barely audible voice Tuesday, the now 16-year-old Endicott pled guilty to the agreed upon charges, acknowledging that he was giving up his right to a trial or to appeal. Final sentencing is scheduled for November 27.
The path that led Chris Endicott to court could arguably have begun 15 years ago, but the climax was on March 22, 2011 when the teen was arrested and charged with the March 21 or 22 murder of his guardians, 50-year old Gary Holloway and his 51-year old wife, Barbara, the boy’s second cousin. The Holloways had taken him in just two months earlier in January 2011.
The Holloways were found shot to death in the bedroom of their 248 Jimmy Hubbard Rd. home early on the afternoon of March 22 by a family member. A 30-30 caliber Marlin lever action rifle lay at the foot of the bed and five shell casings littered the floor.
According to autopsy reports, Barbara Holloway had been shot once in the head and Gary multiple times in the head and stomach. Barbara had both meth and marijuana in her system. Their vehicle, a white 1997 Chevy Lumina, was missing, along with Chris Endicott.
The Chevy was spotted around 9:30 p.m. that night by KSP Trooper Bobby Maxwell and a chase ensued. Endicott, along with a passenger, 12-year-old Kyra Shockley, was apprehended after Endicott lost control of the vehicle and ran off the road and through a fence just a few miles inside Barren County. Shockley was questioned by police and released to her mother’s custody.
On October 25, 2011, a Metcalfe Grand Jury indicted Endicott on two counts of capital murder in the death of the Holloways. He was additionally charged with first degree robbery; two counts of theft by unlawful taking over $500 regarding cash and personal property, and the Chevy belonging to the Holloways.
Endicott was also indicted for custodial interference; tampering with physical evidence; first degree fleeing or evading police; and first degree wanton endangerment. Because of his age he has been held at the Adair County Juvenile Detention Center since his arrest.
On Tuesday, Judge Patton reviewed with the defendant the plea agreement made by the Commonwealth. Endicott would plead guilty to two counts of murder, for which the Commonwealth was recommending 20 years for each count; first degree robbery (10 years), tampering with physical evidence; and fleeing/evading police (five years each) with all to run concurrently for a total of 20 years.
The theft charges were incorporated into the first degree robbery charge; the custodial interference and wanton endangerment charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement.
The Commonwealth opposes shock probation or early release but Judge Patton will make the final decision at sentencing on November 27. Endicott will remain at the Adair County Juvenile Detention Center until he turns 18 on January 26, 2014. At that time he will return to court for additional proceedings.
In a statement, Attorney Howard acknowledged that “there was no way to win in this case. This child should never have been placed in that home where there were drugs used and drugs sold all the time. This child is like a forgotten child so there is no way for anyone to come out a winner.”
Howard maintains that Endicott never meant to shoot Gary Holloway. The first shot was an accident and after that he panicked. There was a lot of mitigation in the case and she feels they could have mounted a defense, but in the end they decided not to take the chance that a guilty verdict would have given him an even harsher sentence.
Commonwealth Attorney Davis said that she had met with family members prior to offering a plea agreement. She noted that Endicott was a juvenile with no previous record and that may have influenced the jury. The family agreed that in order to avoid future appeals and having to relive the trial again they would accept the plea.
When he comes back to court after his 18th birthday, Davis continued, the judge will look at his behavior but that the family hopes Endicott will remain incarcerated until he is eligible for parole after serving 17 years of his sentence.