PHOENIX | Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the trial of an officer killed in the line of duty seven years ago.
The trial for Anthony Holly’s alleged killer, Bryan Hulsey, has been postponed several times, making it the oldest capital murder case in the county.
Holly was gunned down on Feb. 19, 2007, as he provided backup during a traffic stop. Police said they had taken one suspect out of the vehicle and were removing a second suspect when the suspect pulled a handgun from his waistband and fired at the officers, striking Holly. The other officer returned fire, wounding Hulsey, who was later captured and taken into custody.
Holly was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, where he was pronounced dead. He was 24 years old.
Since Hulsey was indicted in 2007, court records show attorneys on the case have met with the judge nearly 200 times. In many cases, Hulsey requested new counsel.
Court papers suggest Hulsey wouldn’t cooperate with his legal team, and at one point, he volunteered to represent himself.
The latest delay came in December last year because a defense attorney “needs time to recover medically before she can prepare for and participate in trial.”
Glendale Police Sgt. Jay O’Neill and his colleagues have been waiting seven years for justice.
“The judge has erred on the side of caution, so when that verdict eventually is read, it will stand up to any appeals,” O’Neill said. “Obviously, a capital case is going to see an appeal.”
In February, Holly’s friends, family and colleagues showed up to the courtroom for yet another delay hearing. But, donning “enough is enough” stickers, they got the news for which they were hoping .
“I had nightmares. I couldn’t sleep, I just couldn’t put it to rest,” said Sharon Knutson-Felix, executive director of the 100 Club. She said waiting on the wheels of justice to turn in the cases for both her late son, Ricky, and husband, Doug Knutson, was like getting victimized all over again.
It’s a feeling with which, she said, Holly’s family is grappling.
“I just got to the point where I didn’t even know what to say anymore,” Knutson-Felix said. “They died for this community and serving this community, and then it seems the community has betrayed them.”
Holly was a two-year veteran of the Glendale Police Department and was a four-year veteran of the U. S. Air Force. He left behind his girlfriend, parents, four brothers and a sister.