A gunman who opened fire in a New Hampshire church during a wedding, wounding the bride and the bishop, was sentenced Monday to a minimum term of 50 years to life in prison.
The man, Dale Holloway, 41, broke into the New England Pentecostal Ministries Church in Pelham, New Hampshire on October 12, 2019, on an apparent revenge mission, shooting in the chest of Bishop Stanley Choate and in the chest of the bride, Claire McMullen. arm, according to the court documents.
According to a sentencing memorandum filed by state prosecutors, Mr. Holloway, the stepson of Luis Garcia, an ordained minister of the church who was fatally shot 11 days before weddingentered the church on the morning of October 12 during the wedding ceremony of Ms. McMullen and Mark Castiglione, the father of the man accused of murdering Mr. Garcia.
At the end of the wedding ceremony, Mr. Holloway stood up and walked towards the altar. At that point, Bishop Choate held out his arms and pleaded, “Son, no, no, no, no,” prosecutors said. Mr. Holloway then shot the bishop and the bride. Mr. Holloway also punched Mr. Castiglione in the head before worshipers tackled him to the ground, prosecutors said.
In November, a jury found Mr. Holloway, who represented himself, guilty of attempted first-degree murder and several other charges, including assault with a deadly weapon and being a felon in possession of a dangerous weapon, according to court records. Mr. Holloway was sentenced Monday to 40 years to life in prison for attempted murder, to be served consecutively with two concurrent sentences of 10 to 30 years for the assault and weapons charges, the court heard.
The criminal charges are “as serious as they come,” Hillsborough Superior Court Judge Charles S. Temple said. as he pronounced the sentence Monday.
“The nature of the crimes deserves severe punishment,” he said.
Daniel Duckett, a standby lawyer who said his role was to answer Mr. Holloway’s legal questions but not to provide strategic advice, said by telephone Monday that he could not comment on the case or the conviction .
The prosecutor in the case could not immediately be reached Monday evening for comment.
Mr Holloway argued his crimes were the result of mental illness, but ultimately failed to convince the jury, Judge Temple said. The nature of the crimes and Mr. Holloway’s history of violence, he added, led him to conclude that Mr. Holloway’s rehabilitation “must take place behind the walls of the state prison.”
Mr. Holloway is currently serving a sentence of seven and a half to 15 years for assaulting his lawyer in 2019, a court spokesperson said by email. He stressed that Monday’s sentences would be served consecutively to Mr Holloway’s current prison term.
Alain Delaquérière contributed to the research.