0
Votes

Holland is Convicted of 1991 Chantilly Rape

Jury recommends three life terms plus 17 years.

At the start of Troy Darrell Holland's trial for rape, last week, defense attorney Thomas Haddock told the jury to "listen to all the evidence and see if you think [the victim] was abducted, raped, sodomized and robbed."

The jury of eight women and four men did exactly that — and when they were finished, they found Holland, 38, guilty on all counts. The jurors also recommended he be sentenced to three life terms plus 17 years.

His conviction came just days after the co-defendant in this case, Donald Harmon Roper, was sentenced to 115 years in prison for his part in these crimes.

The incident occurred Nov. 2, 1991, around 4:15 a.m., and the two men grabbed their victim — a 19-year-old woman — as she arrived home at the Shenandoah Crossing Apartments in Chantilly.

But her attackers wore masks and gloves, and the case remained unsolved for years until a positive DNA match in February 2005 led to the arrest of Roper, 40, of Fredericksburg.

On April 18, 2005, a Fairfax County grand jury indicted him on one count of rape, two counts of forcible sodomy, one count of abduction with intent to defile and one count of robbery. Meanwhile, Holland — who went to high school with Roper — also became a suspect in the case.

On Dec. 19, 2005, the grand jury indicted him for the same five offenses. And two days later, Holland, of 62 Mallard Court in Charles Town, W. Va., was taken into custody at his home by Jefferson County sheriff's deputies and extradited to Fairfax County.

His jury trial was last Monday-Tuesday, Dec. 4-5, in Fairfax County Circuit Court. Centre View is not revealing the victim's identity, but she's now a wife and mother and lives in Maine. In November 1991, though, she'd only lived in Chantilly a couple weeks.

She'd worked late and gotten together with friends in Sterling before driving her 1986 Nissan Sentra home to Chantilly — and into a nightmare. With no parking spaces available in front of her building, the woman parked near the clubhouse. But as soon as she exited her car, two masked men ran toward her.

THEY WORE DARK clothes and rubber gloves, and one man was taller than the other, who was shorter and stockier. And as DNA evidence has now proven, Holland was the taller man, and Roper, the shorter.

She testified that, at first, they said they wanted her car, and she told them to take it. But then, they pushed her into the back seat, and Holland drove the vehicle for 10-15 minutes before stopping. Afterward, both men sexually assaulted her. She screamed and kicked, to no avail, and finally gave up fighting.

When Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Ian Rodway asked her why, she replied, "I thought I was going to die if I didn't cooperate. When we left Shenandoah Crossing, the person in the front seat said if I wasn't nice, they'd get the knife. I didn't feel I had any choice, if I wanted to live. I just wanted to get out of it alive."

After she described the attacks, the bailiff opened an evidence bag and showed her the white, silk blouse she'd worn that night, so she could identify it in court. When she saw it, she cried.

Afterward, they drove her to the vicinity of her apartment building and put a ballcap over her eyes when they removed their gloves and masks before fleeing. Police later found five pieces of rubber glove in her car.

Her assailants left her purse but, she said, "The wallet with my [driver's] license, ATM card, Social Security card and about $10 was gone."

Also testifying against Holland last week was Christopher Larson. He now lives in Oklahoma; but in November 1991, he lived in this area and was an Army specialist stationed at Fort Myer. On Nov. 2, around 5 a.m., he was driving his truck near Shenandoah Crossing, heading off to do some squirrel hunting.

Larson told the court that, as he was leaving, a young woman ran into the street and flagged him down. He described how distraught she was and identified a photo of the victim as that woman.

WHEN HE STOPPED his pickup truck, rolled down his window and asked how he could help her, she told him she'd just been raped. He testified how disheveled her clothes looked and said the woman was extremely upset.

Larson then drove her to her apartment, where she called police and reported what happened. The police also spoke with her in person and a sexual-assault exam was performed on her at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Then nothing happened for years — until Roper was convicted of a felony in another jurisdiction and, as is customary in this state, a sample of his DNA was entered into the Virginia DNA Data Bank for convicted felons. And on Aug. 12, 2004, Det. Mark Pfeiffer submitted the forensic evidence from the 1991 rape, along with the victim's blouse, to the state lab for testing.

In court, forensic scientist Karen Ambrozy — who did the original DNA testing after the crime and again when the evidence was resubmitted — testified that sperm found in and on the victim had come from Roper, and DNA left on the woman's blouse had come from Holland.

During defense attorney Haddock's cross examination of the victim, he asked her if she'd had to "review what happened" prior to testifying. And in a voice tinged with both disgust and certainty, the woman replied, "I've never forgotten."

After deliberating just an hour and a half, the jury returned its verdict of guilty. It later recommended he be sentenced to life in prison for each of these charges: rape, abduction and one count of forcible sodomy, 10 years for the other sodomy charge and seven years for robbery. Judge Robert Wooldridge then set Holland's sentencing for Jan. 19.