Cold Case Murderer Of NYPD Cop’s Daughter Set To Walk Free
There has been a bizarre twist in the cold case murder of an NYPD detective's daughter in Orange County. Following last week's celebrated arrest, a procedural mistake is about to set Megan McDonald's killer free, likely temporarily. Compounding the intrigue is the fact that the District Attorney in the case has now recused himself, due to conflict of interest.
Edward Holley was charged with second-degree murder in McDonald's death last week, following a twenty-year investigation. According to nbcnewyork.com, state police said Holley and McDonald had dated but the two broke the relationship off in the days prior to the killing in 2003.
In a statement by the McDonald family, reported by NBC New York, the family said that they are "disappointed with today's news regarding the release of Edward Holley. However, his temporary release was expected. Since Megan was brutally taken from us, we have been advocating for the arrest of the person responsible for her murder. After patiently waiting for over 20 years, we are confident that the police have arrested the right person — Edward Holley. The process may not be easy or follow our preferred path, but we will not rest until justice is secured for Megan.”
The procedural error was that once the defendant was charged and held in custody, a grand jury must vote on an indictment within six days of the arrest. The Orange County DA's office missed that deadline and the defendant must be released. NBC New York reported that after the State Police arrest of Holley, the Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler said that notification protocol by the state police was not followed leading to the missed deadline. Then a report by Lana Bellamy of timesunion.com added more intrigue into this case.
Bellamy reported that the Orange County DA, announced he was recusing himself from the case. Hoovler has apparently requested that a special prosecutor be appointed. Hoovler's office cited a conflict dating back to when the Orange County DA was in private practice. Hoovler previously represented a person of interest in the Megan McDonald murder investigation. According to timesunion.com, that person of interest died before Hoovler was elected district attorney. Could that personal conflict of interest by the DA have led to the missed deadline and the release of a killer? It will be interesting to follow this case. From all reports, Holley will be arrested shortly after his release.
Cold case murders that are solved often have twists and turns. The Orange County District Attorney's office has now been put in the center of one of those twists. It's hard to rehash the death of a loved one 20-years later. When the judicial system appears to botch the process, it only adds more anxiety for an already tortured family.