Plea changed to guilty in Oregon barista murder case; Man gets life without parole
OREGON CITY, Ore. (AP) — A neighbor and fellow church-goer pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated murder and related charges in the October slaying of a 21-year-old suburban Gresham barista.
Jonathan Holt entered his pleas in Circuit Court and was sentenced to life in prison without parole in the death of Whitney Heichel (HY’-kel).
The victim’s husband, Clint Heichel, addressed Holt in court.
“What do you say to the man who has taken the love of your life?” Clint Heichel said, adding, “my life has been ripped apart and turned upside down.”
“But know this: I will see her again,” said Heichel, a Jehovah’s Witness.
More than 60 members of Whitney Heichel’s family and church attended the sentencing. Holt pleaded guilty to aggravated murder, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree robbery. He was an acquaintance, lived in the same apartment complex and attended the same church as the victim, The Oregonian reported (http://is.gd/vWceOE).
Police have said Holt waited outside the young woman’s apartment the morning of Oct. 16, 2012, then talked her into giving him a ride on the way to her job at Starbucks. He then ordered her at gunpoint to drive him to Rosyln Lake in Clackamas County, where he sexually assaulted her and shot her four times, investigators said.
Other relatives of the victim also described their loss and berated Holt on Monday.
“All the things that were said about me are true,” the defendant told the court. “Because of my selfishness, I have stolen a daughter, a sister and wife. I’m sorry for what I did.”
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