A Las Vegas man who was charged with murder after police found a severed head in his truck in a parking garage next to the Rio says it’s not his truck.
A lawyer for Eric Holland, 57, claimed last week his client is a “hapless thief” who stole a vehicle that just happened to have body parts in it, according to court filings.
Holland was pulled over by Las Vegas Metro Police on December 23 for a routine traffic stop. That’s after a license check on the Toyota Tundra he was driving showed its registration was suspended.
According to the criminal complaint, Holland briefly stopped to talk to officers before speeding off. A chase ensued, and an LVMPD helicopter unit joined to track him from the air.
Holland headed for the parking garage by the Rio at 3700 West Flamingo Road. But the air unit saw him get out of the Toyota and enter a gold Chevrolet Avalanche, which then drove out of the garage.
Police resumed the chase, following the Chevrolet to an apartment block near the Orleans Casino. There, Holland exited the vehicle and attempted to run, but was tasered by officers.
With the suspect in custody, police searched the vehicles, both of which had been reported stolen. In the trunk of the Chevy, they found a black plastic trash bag emitting a “foul odor,” according to the complaint.
In it, they found a detached human head. In two coolers, they discovered two legs and “an apparent human torso.”
But according to the public defender assigned to Holland’s case, it’s all just a horrible misunderstanding. P. David Westbrook said his client did not kill anybody. He was just a “hapless car thief who just picked the wrong car.”
A Las Vegas judge denied him bail, just in case that wasn’t true.
“Proof is evident, and the presumption is great that Mr. Holland committed murder,” the judge said.
Saw and Trash Bags
According to the complaint, LVMPD has a video of Holland inside a Home Depot buying a saw and trash bags.
The Clark County Coroners Office has named the victim as Richard P. Miller, 65, of Las Vegas. He died of multiple gunshot wounds. Police believe Holland and Miller knew each other.
Holland, who has a long criminal history, has yet to enter a plea in the case. He is being held at the Clark County Detention Center.
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