The Crimes of Brandy Holmes

Cold Blooded Killer

Brandy Holmes
Police Photo

During the early evening hours of January 1, 2003, the Brandy Holmes and her boyfriend, Robert Coleman, forced their way into the rural home of Julian Brandon, a retired minister who was 70 years of age, and his wife Alice, who was 68 years of age.

Reverend Brandon was shot at near contact range in the underside of his jaw with a .380 caliber handgun. The bullet separated into two pieces: one fragment entered his brain and the other exited the top of his head.

Julian Brandon immediately collapsed.

Holmes and Coleman then took Mrs. Brandon to the rear bedroom and demanded her valuables, cash, and credit cards as she begged for her life. Ignoring her pleas, they placed a pillow over the woman's face and shot her in the head, and left her for dead.  

Over-Kill

After shooting Mrs. Brandon, Holmes and Coleman heard Reverend Brandon struggling with his wounds and returned and stabbed and slashed him to death.

Concerned Friends Discover the Bodies

On January 5, 2003, four days after the attack, Calvin Barrett Hudson, a family friend of the Brandons, became concerned when the couple did not attend church on Sunday and decided to check on them. When he and his wife went to their friends' residence, they found Reverend Brandon lying in a pool of his blood on the carpet. Hudson immediately went to a neighbor's house and called the sheriff's office.

When the police responded to the call, they found Reverend Brandon's body.

It was not until the authorities checked the house that they discovered Mrs. Brandon was barely alive. Even though Mrs. Brandon received a gunshot wound to the head, she survived the attack, although she was permanently disabled and requires around-the-clock care.

Tips Lead Investigators to the Killer's Door

After the television news reported the crime, the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office received a tip from persons at an apartment complex near the crime scene.

The callers indicated the Holmes had been bragging about killing an elderly couple down the road near a church and that she was trying to sell their jewelry. Detectives then went to the trailer of Brenda Bruce, Holmes' mother, which was located near the homicide scene. There they located Holmes, Coleman, her mother, and her 15-year-old brother, Sean George. All four agreed to accompany the officers to the sheriff's office for interviews.

Over the next two days Holmes made six recorded and unrecorded statements, implicating herself and others to varying degrees in the homicide and robbery. She also said that two days after murders, she and two of her young nephews bicycled to the Brandons' home. The youngest nephew, nine years of age, entered the home with her and she walked to the back of house and heard Mrs. Brandon's heavy breathing and turned around and left. 

The nine-year-old nephew entered the home with his aunt, where he saw Reverend Brandon lying in a pool of blood and heard Mrs. Brandon screaming from another room in the home. A neighbor witnessed both nephews fleeing from the residence, leaving the Holmes inside the home.

Evidence

Police recovered considerable circumstantial evidence that proved Holmes involvement in the crime.

Although the gun used in the shootings was not recovered, ballistics evidence demonstrated that the weapon used in the Brandon homicide was the same weapon that had belonged to Holmes's father and had been stolen from his residence in Tylertown, Mississippi. Holmes admitted she had stolen her father's gun in one of her statements to the police. In addition, a surveillance video from Hibernia Bank depicted the Holmes and Coleman attempting to use the Brandons' credit card at an ATM.

A search of the Bruce trailer where the Holmes and Coleman were staying led to the discovery of several items that belonged to Mrs. Brandon. Three fired .380 cartridge casings were found in the rain gutter of the trailer where she lived.  Laboratory analysis revealed that Reverend Brandon's DNA was found on one of these casings.

  

Additionally, forensic analysis matched the .380 projectile recovered from Reverend Brandon's brain and the dining room ceiling to a projectile recovered from a tree at the home of Holmes' father in Mississippi.

Brandy Holmes was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to death.

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Montaldo, Charles. "The Crimes of Brandy Holmes." ThoughtCo, Feb. 6, 2016, thoughtco.com/the-crimes-of-brandy-holmes-973497. Montaldo, Charles. (2016, February 6). The Crimes of Brandy Holmes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-crimes-of-brandy-holmes-973497 Montaldo, Charles. "The Crimes of Brandy Holmes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/the-crimes-of-brandy-holmes-973497 (accessed December 17, 2017).