HASTINGS, Minn. - A 36-year-old Apple Valley man was charged with murder Monday in the deaths of his wife and unborn child.
Dakota County prosecutors leveled two counts of second degree intentional murder against Roger Earl Holland in the deaths of his 37-year-old wife Margorie Holland and her fetus.
Police responded to an apartment building on 1571h Street West just before 10 a.m. following a 911 call from Roger Holland claiming his wife being in cardiac arrest. Officers found her at the bottom of a flight of stairs.
Holland claimed he had left the home to buy breakfast and told officers he returned to find her at the bottom of the stairs, face down, wrapped in a blanket and non-responsive. He told police that he rolled his wife over and began CPR before calling 911.
Margorie Holland was rushed to Fairview Ridges Hospital where she and her unborn child were pronounced dead at approximately 11:30 a.rn.
When questioned by detectives Roger Holland said his relationship with his wife was good and that they did not have any financial problems. He told them they had been married for three years and both were members of the Texas National Guard.
But evidenced uncovered during the investigation suggested a different scenario. Officers conducted a search of the cellular telephones of both Roger and Margorie Holland and found in a large number of deleted text messages documenting numerous arguments between the couple, including concerns about their financial situation.
The last text argument took place around 9:30 the night before her death, an exchange during which Margorie Holland sent her husband a text indicating she planned on divorcing him.
Officers also found a text between the couple's cell phones relating to the breakfast purchase on March 7, the day Margorie Holland died. Roger Holland claimed he received a text from his wife after he left the home and responded. The phones indicated the messages were sent at 9:29 a.m. and 9:32 a.m.
Video surveillance at the apartment building, however, showed that Roger Holland did not leave the residence until 9:34 a.m. that morning.
Also found on Roger Holland's cell phone was a data entry on March 6 which stated: "if you pass out and fall down a flight of stairs, can you break your neck, can your neck be broken if you are."
First responders noticed numerous injuries on Margorie Holland's body, including bruising and abrasions on her head, face, hands, legs, ankles and feet. The autopsy by a medical examiner found broken cartilage in the victim's neck, and hemorrhaging in her neck and eyes, suggesting she had been strangled.
"We are saddened to be filing murder charges today in connection with the first homicide in Dakota County in 2013. Our deepest sympathy is expressed to the family and friends of Margorie Holland for their great loss."
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