Before sentencing killer to life for strangling girlfriend with plastic zip in front of witnesses, judge cries ‘It was a terrible deed’

Dennis Sheppard was convicted of murdering his fiancée, Jyra Holmes, pictured on the right.

A man in Louisiana has been sentenced to life in prison for strangling his fiancée with a plastic zipper during a domestic dispute in the parking lot of her apartment complex in front of witnesses.

Monday, Dennis Sheppard, 60, was sentenced for the murder of his 39-year-old fiancée, Jyra Holmes.

During the sentencing hearing, the victim’s twin sister criticized the defendant, saying, “I hope the only mercy you receive for the rest of your life is the mercy you showed my sister,” according to a news release from the prosecution.

Judge June Berry Darensburg criticized Sheppard and denied his defense’s requests for a new trial and acquittal following the verdict.

“She had a full life ahead of her; she was very young,” Darensburg stated. To take someone’s life was an immoral act, I must concur with the impact testimony.

On November 2, 2020, according to prosecutors, Sheppard strangled Holmes outside of her apartment in the 1500 block of West Chelsea Road in Harvey.

Authorities said witnesses saw him do it and heard him say afterward, “She wanted me dead; now she’s dead.”

She was found unresponsive on the ground by deputies, who pronounced her dead at the site.

A United States Marshals Service fugitive task force apprehended Sheppard three days later at a Motel 6 in Mississippi.

After 36 minutes of deliberation on September 28, a Jefferson Parish jury convicted him of second-degree murder, bringing to a close his three-day trial. In Louisiana, his mandatory punishment was life in prison without the possibility of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence, according to prosecutors.

Sheppard denied committing second-degree murder, his defense attorney said, asserting he was guilty of manslaughter, a lesser homicide conducted in the heat of passion that entails a maximum of 40 years in prison.

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Sean O
Sean O

Sean thinks the world of Montgomery County, Maryland. He grew up in the area starting from Silver Spring and has been involved in various organizations around the County. With the transformation of downtown Silver Spring, he pioneered interest in online content specific to the area. Sean graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a focus in Economics and Geographic Information Science.

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