The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

November 28, 2012

Neighbors: Ark. man arrested in girl's death cried

BENTONVILLE, Ark. —  

 

 An Arkansas man accused of killing a 6-year-old girl who lived next door cried the day her body was found in a nearby vacant home, neighbors said Tuesday.

Police in Bentonville arrested Zachary Holly, 28, on Monday — about a week after Jersey Bridgeman's body was found next to the mobile home where Holly lived.

Holly is being held in the Benton County Jail on capital murder, kidnapping and residential burglary charges. He is due in court Wednesday, when public defender Jay Saxton said he expects the judge to appoint a lawyer with the public defender's commission to represent Holly.

Jersey, whose father and stepmother are in prison for chaining her to a dresser last year, was found dead just minutes after someone reported her missing on Nov. 20.

One neighbor, Julie Pickard, said Tuesday that Holly wept before authorities brought Jersey's body out of the vacant home.

"He was crying for a long time," said Pickard, who lives on the other side of the home where Jersey's body was found.

Later that day, Pickard said, police knocked on her door and told her to let them know if she saw a man wearing Mountain Dew pajama pants.

"(Holly) was wearing Mountain Dew pajama pants," Pickard said.

Bentonville Police Chief Jon Simpson wouldn't release details Tuesday of how Jersey died or what led police to Holly, nor would he discuss possible motives.

No one answered the door Tuesday at the mobile home where police say Holly lived with his wife. A child's bicycle rested on a patch of grass near the home in the city that's about 215 miles northwest of Little Rock.

Simpson told The Associated Press the couple didn't have any children but that Holly's wife has a child who is "pretty much the same age as our victim." Simpson described Holly as "an acquaintance" and a friend of Jersey's family.

Next door, a child's bike with training wheels lay in front of the house where police said Jersey lived with her mother, DesaRae Bridgeman. Nearby was a deflated balloon decorated with the kinds of princesses that fill little girls' dreams.

Less than a mile away, Jersey's family buried the little girl who lived through more than her share of hardship. Police said the family requests privacy as they grieve.

Jersey's death comes after her father and stepmother chained the girl to a dresser last year. David Bridgeman told investigators he restrained his daughter to prevent her from getting into medication and other things around the house in nearby Rogers.

David Bridgeman and Jersey's stepmother, Jana Bridgeman, pleaded guilty in June to false imprisonment, permitting abuse of a minor and endangering the welfare of a minor. She is serving a 12-year prison sentence, plus three years for a probation revocation. He is serving an 18-year prison sentence.

Simpson, the police chief, said Holly worked at a restaurant in town called The Flying Burrito Company. The manager, Tabitha Stevens, confirmed that Holly worked there but declined to comment any further.

Simpson said many questions about the investigation will be answered when a probable cause affidavit is released Wednesday.

In the meantime, those who knew Jersey are remembering the little girl who was still joyful despite what was, by all indications, a difficult life.

"I don't know how she dealt with it, but she dealt with it and she still smiled the whole time," family friend Mike Whitcomb said.

 

1
Text Only
World, nation, state
  • GROUNDED U.S., other countries ban flights to and from Israel

    A Hamas rocket exploded Tuesday near Israel’s main airport, prompting a ban on all flights from the U.S. and many from Europe and Canada as aviation authorities responded to the shock of seeing a civilian jetliner shot down over Ukraine.

    July 23, 2014

  • REPORT: Retaliation by supervisors common at VA

    A pharmacy supervisor at the VA was placed on leave after complaining about errors and delays in delivering medications to patients at a hospital in Palo Alto, California. In Pennsylvania, a doctor was removed from clinical work after complaining that on-call doctors were refusing to go to a VA hospital in Wilkes-Barre.

    July 22, 2014

  • Veteran's Ducks Iraq vet cited for owning 14 therapeutic pet ducks

    An Army veteran who hurt his back during the Iraq War is worried a citation will result in him losing his 14 pet ducks, which he says are therapeutic.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stacked Apartment.jpg New York building shows how mod design stacks up as cool

    In a city piled high with ambitious architecture, a seven-floor structure off the beaten path boasts a distinction of its own: It’s billed as the first multistory, modular-built apartment building to open in the nation’s apartment capital.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scores dead in first major ground battle in Gaza

    The first major ground battle in two weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting exacted a steep price Sunday: It killed 65 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers and forced thousands of terrified Palestinian civilians to flee their neighborhood, reportedly used to launch rockets at Israel and now devastated by the fighting.

    July 21, 2014

  • Traditional lottery games hold their own

    Ohio’s traditional lottery games are mostly doing well despite competition from their electronic counterparts at four racinos.

    July 20, 2014

  • HIV diagnosis rate fell by third in U.S. over decade

    The rate of HIV infections diagnosed in the United States each year fell by one-third over the past decade, a government study finds. Experts celebrated it as hopeful news that the AIDS epidemic may be slowing in the U.S.

    July 20, 2014

  • Suddenly, the sun is eerily quiet: Where did the sunspots go?

    The sun has gone quiet. Almost too quiet.

    July 20, 2014

  • Monitors try to secure Ukraine plane crash site

    International monitors moved gingerly Saturday through fields reeking of the decomposing corpses that fell from a Malaysian airliner shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine, trying to secure the sprawling site in hopes that a credible investigation can be conducted.

    July 19, 2014

  • Israeli bulldozers destroy Hamas tunnels in Gaza

     Israeli bulldozers on Saturday demolished more than a dozen tunnels the military said were being used by Hamas gunmen to sneak beneath the southern border of the Jewish state and carry out attacks on its soldiers and civilians.

    July 19, 2014

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video