Man shot by police, facing attempted murder charges found dead in city jail cell

Cause of death for Phillip G. Holland, 61, appears to be suicide, spokesman says

February 16, 2010|By Justin Fenton | | Baltimore Sun reporter

A 61-year-old man who was shot by police and facing multiple attempted murder charges was found dead in his cell at the city jail over the weekend, corrections officials said.

Phillip G. Holland was found dead on Saturday at about 10:30 a.m., said Mark Vernarelli, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. He was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Vernarelli said the cause of death appeared to be suicide by asphyxiation, and internal investigators were reviewing his death.

Holland had been held since late January on multiple charges of attempted murder. On Jan. 27, officers were staked out at the hospital to serve a warrant on Holland, who was being sought on attempted-murder charges accusing him of stabbing a woman outside of a Hampden convenience store.

Police said Holland charged Detective Michael Dressel with a knife and was Tased. Dressel pulled out his service weapon and shot Holland in the left leg. Police said Holland continued in the direction of another officer, Lt. Michael Rosenblatt, who used a Taser on him. Holland was disarmed, fell to the ground and was placed under arrest.

Holland has been in and out of prison most of his life, most recently sentenced to five years in prison for theft in Baltimore County, and released 21 months later on parole.

He faced two counts of attempted murder against Dressel and Rosenblatt, as well as one count of attempted murder in the stabbing of Gina Miller at a Hampden Royal Farms store Jan. 16.

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