17-year-old accused of fatally shooting parents

Shooting crime

ELMORE COUNTY, AL (WSFA) –A second victim has died after a shooting Sunday in Elmore County.

Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin says April Holton and her husband, Mike, were shot in the head at their home Sunday.

Mike Holton, who was the former mayor of Eclectic, was pronounced dead at the scene. April was transported to a Montgomery hospital in critical condition and was pronounced dead Monday.

The couple’s oldest child, 17-year-old Jesse Holton, was arrested Monday and charged with one count of murder.

Earlier Monday, the sheriff said Jesse Holton would likely be charged with another count of murder if his mother died from her injuries.

The shots were fired shortly after an Elmore County deputy visited the family’s home on Lindsey Road at the request of the parents, Mike and April Holton Sunday afternoon. 

Franklin said the parents were upset after finding drugs and paraphernalia left over from a party, reportedly thrown by the 17-year-old suspect.

“Mike greeted the deputy, he said ‘hey look, trying to teach my son a lesson, when you go in, I’ve pretty much handcuffed him and put him on the couch,” Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin said, as he explained the exchange between Mike Holton and the deputy.  

Franklin said the deputy collected the evidence and left the scene. The Holtons walked the deputy out to his car, leaving Jesse Holton alone inside.  

Twenty minutes after the deputy left, dispatch received another call from the Holton’s neighbor. 

“There was a short while later, we received a call from a neighbor who said this 17-year-old had come to his house and said there had been some mayhem there,” Franklin said. 

When the deputy returned, the parents had been shot in the head with the family gun.

The suspect denied he pulled the trigger, but the wounds aren’t consistent with a murder-suicide, according to the sheriff.

“We’ve got some issues with some things he was saying with what we thought were the entry and exit wounds on Mr. and Mrs. Holton,” Franklin stated.

It’s unclear what transpired after the Holtons walked back inside their house. Their bodies were found on the floor of their bedroom.  

“We know now the entry and exit wounds were as we thought, and we know there’s no way Mr. Holton took his life, according to the pathologist,” Franklin said. “On Mrs. Holton, it would be apparent defense wounds, where you would be putting your hands up in that fashion where one of the fingers took a round from a gunshot.”

Franklin says the 17-year-old shows no emotion.

“The daddy, Mike, and the mother were very desirous of coming down the following morning on Monday and seeking a petition for the boy to go in front of the juvenile judge,” Franklin said. 

Franklin said Jesse Holton would not discuss whether that was a factor in the shootings.

Franklin said the suspect admitted to having anger management issues. 

“As long as he smokes his marijuana and takes his pills, he’s okay,” Franklin said the suspect told him. “But, when he doesn’t, he becomes more irate.”

Jesse Holton’s bond was set at $150,000.