Man accused of killing girlfriend pleads ‘not guilty’

Man accused of killing girlfriend pleads ‘not guilty’

In Spokane County Superior Court Tuesday morning, Nicholas L. Holden pleaded not guilty to second degree murder.

Holden is charged in the death of his girlfriend, 30-year-old Tina Stewart. The mother of two was found dead in a Newman Lake home the day after Thanksgiving. Court documents indicate the couple got into an argument the night before that turned physical.

At his first appearance in Superior Court in December, Holden’s bond was set at $1 million. On Tuesday, Judge James Triplet cut that sum in half.

“A substantial bond is still appropriate, but I am going to set bond at $500,000,” the judge told the court.

In the courtroom were many members of Tina Stewart’s family, who have been outspoken as this case has begun its movement through the court system. They showed relief that Holden’s bond remained high, but expressed their wish that he stay behind bars while awaiting trial.

“Still should be at $1 million. Tina is not here with us anymore. He’s able the breathe and she’s not,” said Donald Estes, Stewart’s uncle.

There are several factors a judge might consider when determining bond, including any times the defendant might have failed to appear in court in the past, his or her establishment within the community and whether the defendant poses a risk to that community, if released.

“I don’t care if he’s got a job, I don’t care if he’s got friends and family. He committed a violent crime and he should not be allowed to get out,” Bailey said.

Holden maintained his innocence in court today.

Stewart’s family has been present at each of Holden’s court proceedings, wearing purple shirts bearing Stewart’s picture and buttons encouraging an end to silence surrounding domestic violence.

While they await Holden’s trial, the family plans to use their grief as a starting point for a wider conversation about domestic violence in the community.

“We’re not just here for Tina. Mrs. Bost was killed just recently in Finch Arboretum. Jamie Bradshaw in the Valley just recently- was November- she was murdered,” Estes said.

Jade Bost was found dead in a home in the Finch Arboretum neighborhood on Saturday. According to the Spokane County Medical Examiner, she was stabbed to death. William Bost was arrested and charged with second degree domestic violence murder. His bond was set at $250,000.

Jamie Bradshaw was stabbed to death outside her Spokane Valley home in November. Her ex-boyfriend, with whom she shared a child, was arrested. David Campell had a history of domestic violence activity. Bradshaw at one point filed a restraining order against him- the order expired in 2011. He’s now facing a first degree murder charge. His bond was set at $1 million.

“We have to talk about it. Because if we don’t talk about it. we lose our loved ones and this could be your loved one out there. This is time to speak up, people,” Estes said.