Hearing ordered for Amarillo death row convict - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Hearing ordered for Amarillo death row convict

AMARILLO - A woman on death row for a gruesome Amarillo murder has hope for life after the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ordered a hearing on her behalf.

Now 40-year-old Brittany Holberg fatally stabbed an elderly Amarillo man 58 times in 1996, and has since been denied dozens of writs and appeals.

On November 13, 1996 80-year-old A. B. Towery was found dead in his apartment, stabbed 58 times with various items, hit with a hammer, and a lamp post shoved six inches down his throat.

Three months later, then 23-year-old, Holberg was arrested and charged with capital murder and robbery.

Randall County District Attorney James Farren had only been DA for about a year when the crime was committed, but he still believes Holberg got the punishment she deserves.

"I went to the crime scene when the Special Crimes Unit called me and said we've got a homicide and it looks bad," Farren said.

Today the Court of Criminal Appeals ordered a hearing for four of Holberg's Defense Attorney's to testify.

Holberg's current defense says if those original lawyers had presented all mitigating evidence, she wouldn't be on death row.

"The thing is they presented plenty of mitigating evidence  about her childhood and how sad her life was. The jury still gave her the death penalty," Farren said.

Farren says cases reversed thanks to mitigating evidence are becoming increasingly common, but he doesn't see it excusing 58 stab wounds.

"She had kind of a crappy childhood and teenage years, but lots of people do and that doesn't make them go stab somebody 58 times," Farren said.

The hearing will take place within the next three months, likely at the Randall County Justice Center.

An official date has not been set.

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