Friday, September 17, 2004
Ex-Priest Parole Request Rejected
By Paul Logan
Journal Staff Writer
The state Parole Board has rejected parole for David Holley, the one-time Alamogordo priest who was convicted of sex offenses.
The board, which listened to testimony from victims Tuesday, voted 3-0 to reject Holley's request for parole. The decision was announced Thursday.
"I'm pleased that the Parole Board listened to the victims and decided to keep Mr. Holley behind bars," Gov. Bill Richardson said.
"I am committed to protecting victims, especially victims of heinous crimes committed by sexual predators like Mr. Holley. Victims deserve to be heard."
The governor had criticized a previous decision by the board that would have granted Holley a conditional parole. The board had failed to notify victims of the former Roman Catholic priest's request.
Richardson instructed the board to immediately reconsider its decision and removed Bob Martinez as director of the Parole Board.
Three of Holley's victims testified at the board's meeting inside the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Los Lunas. The meeting, which lasted more than an hour, was closed to the public.
The board voted afterward but decided not to make the decision public until Holley was notified in writing.
"This sex offender was convicted, and I, like most New Mexicans, expect him to remain behind bars," Richardson said.
Holley in 1993 was sentenced to 55 to 275 years in prison for molesting eight boys while serving at the St. Jude Mission in Alamogordo. He was sentenced under an old law that made him eligible for parole after seven years.
The Journal was unable Thursday to reach the local chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a national victims' advocacy group.
SNAP members had written the parole board, urging it to deny Holley's parole.