Flanked by court officers and dressed in a striped jump suit, them man who had been entrusted to babysit little Jersey Bridgeman the night of her death appeared in court today to be charged with her brutal rape and murder.
Zachary Holly, 28, is accused of killing six-year-old Jersey after abducting her in the middle of the night and dumping her body in a vacant house two doors down from the home she lived in with her two-year-old sister and mother.
Holly, his arm shaking, listened as rape was added to charges of capital murder, kidnapping and residential burglary.
Jersey, whose father and stepmother were jailed last year for chaining her to a dresser, disappeared from her bedroom in her home in Bentonville, Arkansas on Tuesday November 20th – after babysitter Holly had put her to bed.
The little girl had just started kindergarten after moving back in with her mother DesaRae Bridgeman and died of asphyxia or lack of oxygen, and physical evidence also showed signs of her being sexually assaulted, according to court documents.
Holly was ordered held without bond and assigned a public defender. Formal charges will be filed sometime before his next court date, scheduled for January 7th.
He didn’t say anything to reporters as officers escorted him to and from the courtroom in Bentonville, a community about 215 miles northwest of Little Rock that’s best known as the home of Wal-Mart’s headquarters.
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