State District Judge David Crain this week granted a prosecution motion to dismiss murder charges against Jonathan Douglas Holt pending further investigation.
Holt was charged with killing his estranged wife, Sylvia Reyes Holt, 36, in her South Austin home days before Christmas 2010. Defense attorney Charlie Baird said Crain granted the motion after investigators learned that DNA evidence determined two men had had recent sexual activity with the woman, and that the evidence excluded Holt. Investigators have claimed that Holt confessed, but Baird has long maintained that confession was false and a result of police coercion. Holt told investigators — and said on cable TV’s “Nancy Grace” show — that he had injected his diabetic spouse, whom he was in the process of divorcing, with insulin and then strangled her, Baird said.
“There’s no insulin in her, and there’s no needle prong,” Baird said. “It’s bizarre. So what you have is a case indistinguishable from the yogurt shop case: a false confession and DNA that indicates somebody other than the original suspect. I don’t believe the investigation is in any way focused on Mr. Holt; it’s focused on individuals linked through scientific DNA evidence.”
Prosecutor Jim Young was unavailable for comment Friday.
Holt has been free on bail since late 2011.