No plea deal for former soldier accused of murder

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A former soldier accused of killing his stepfather and shooting several others planned to plead guilty.

But after attorneys met with the judge behind closed doors, the plan was taken off the table.

The move was the latest in the court proceedings for Kyle Holaday. Defense attorneys say he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder when he went on the shooting spree.

On Thursday, both sides planned to begin the process that would likely have sent Holaday to a mental institution instead of prison.

But that didn't happen.

Two court-appointed doctors have already determined Holaday is not mentally sane.

Action News has learned legal questions brought up by the judge Thursday afternoon prompted a plea deal to be pulled back. The agreement entailed using the findings from two medical doctors who evaluated Kyle Holaday and wrote extensive reports about his mental health.

Prosecutor Deborah Miller declined to comment after the hearing. Holaday is accused of murder and attempted murder. Holaday's mother, Carol, was among those shot two years ago.

Her husband, Jim Wilcoxon, was killed. Two of Carol's friends and a five-month-old baby were also struck.

Outside court on Thursday, Carol said she is standing by her son, despite what happened that day.

"I love my son and I do support my son because I know who he is and what he was at that moment," she said.

Carol was supported by two other mothers from Southern California whose sons also died - they believe from the enemy that remained in them after war - and PTSD effects.

If the deal went through, there's a chance Holaday could be set free, if he's ever determined to be rehabilitated and sane.

The murder victim's family members didn't want to be interviewed but said they want the defendant to serve prison time - even considering the PTSD claims.

So at this point, it appears a trial will be taking place. Holaday will return to court in April.
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