Woman stabbed 9 times, jury told Slaying described as 'vicious, brutal'

March 14, 1997|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

Mickeen Holland stabbed his victim nine times, left her for dead and then over the next weeks showed off the thumb he'd severed from her hand, according to testimony yesterday in Anne Arundel Circuit Court.

Holland, 20, of the 2000 block of Bay Ridge Ave., Annapolis, is being tried on charges of first-degree murder in the slaying of Katherine E. Brodie, 34, of Miami Beach, Fla., on Dec. 6, 1995. She was killed while staying with a friend in Annapolis.

Brodie met Holland on the night she died. They and a friend of Holland, Tremayne Deone Howard, walked into some woods near the Giant supermarket on Bay Ridge Road in Annapolis. There, according to testimony, Holland became angry with Brodie and stabbed her.

Her body was found Feb. 12, 1996, by two boys playing in the woods, according to testimony.

In his opening statement, Assistant State's Attorney Frank Ragione said that Holland used such force in stabbing Brodie that the knife went through her body, piercing her chest, severing her jugular vein and her left lung.

She also was struck in the head with a log and kicked in the face repeatedly and suffered a fractured skull and jaw, Ragione said.

"This case has all the brutality and the callousness of what you usually only read about in murder novels," Ragione told jurors. "You're going to hear about conduct that is vicious, brutal, savage and devastating."

John H. Robinson III, Holland's lawyer, said that his client's arrest resulted from shoddy police work. He said that the prosecution's case was based on Howard's word, and that Howard had made a deal with the state for a reduced sentence in exchange for his testimony.

Howard, 19, of Annapolis, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Oct. 15 in exchange for a 15-year sentence, with five years of it suspended. He has yet to be sentenced.

[Howard] "has a huge, huge motive to make the state very, very, very happy," Robinson told jurors.

Howard testified that on the day of the murder, he spotted Holland and Brodie as they were walking along Bens Drive near Bay Ridge Avenue in Annapolis. He caught up to them as they entered a wooded area near the 7400 block of Edgewood Road, he said.

Testifying in a barely audible voice, Howard said that he stood and watched as Holland punched Brodie in the stomach and kicked her in the face after she fell.

"He proceeded to stab her," Howard said in a monotone, his eyes glued to the table in front of him.

Cawana Cook, 23, of Annapolis, was called as a hostile witness for the state. She glared at Ragione as she denied ever saying Holland had showed her a severed thumb. She denied even knowing Holland.

But Ragione read to the jury the testimony Cook gave an Anne Arundel County grand jury in March, in which she said that Holland carried the thumb in a plastic sandwich bag and showed if off to friends.

Ragione hinted that Cook might have offered conflicting accounts about the thumb out of fear: He asked her on the stand if Holland or his friends had been present to hear her grand jury testimony, as they were for yesterday's trial testimony. Ragione had Cook's grand jury testimony admitted into evidence for the jury of nine women and three men.

Jurors also saw a photo of the victim's decomposed body lying near a log that police say was used in the attack.

The case, being heard before Judge Pamela L. North, is expected to go to the jury next week.

Pub Date: 3/14/97

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