JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A man facing serious charges provided a few moments of levity in Craighead County District Court as he told “Judge Keith” about his three cats needing to be fed and his “silly brother.”
William Thomas Holt first drew chuckles while he was being sworn in.
Instead of answering “I do” when asked if he swore to tell the truth, Holt answered with “Praise the Lord. Hallelujah.”
But Judge Keith Blackman wasn't laughing when he announced he found probable cause to charge Holt with aggravated assault and harassing communications.
According to the affidavit, Holt pulled a knife on two insurance agents who had gone to his house to answer his questions regarding “final expenses insurance.”
During the visit, the victims told investigators Holt got a knife and showed it to the agents. They claim he then went and got an even larger knife, measuring approximately 12-15 inches, and swung it at them.
The female victim told police the knife came so close to her head she “felt her hair move,” the affidavit stated.
According to the court documents, Holt then said “Look, Mom! No head!”
At that point the two insurance agents left Holt's home. But, police say the harassment did not end there.
The affidavit stated Holt continued to send text messages to the woman.
In court Wednesday, Blackman denied Holt's petition for a public defender upon learning the 66-year-old self-professed Vietnam Veteran owned his home and received Social Security benefits.
“You have more assets than most people,” Blackman stated when Holt protested his decision.
The judge set Holt's bond at $10,000, which drew more comments from Holt.
“There's just one itty-bitty small problem,” Holt said. “My billfold and two debit cards are at my house.”
The judge suggested Holt could have a friend go to his house to pick up the items, to which Holt responded “Maybe my silly brother, if he will do it at all.”
But a more pressing issue for the suspect was his cats.
As the judge was wrapping up the probable cause hearing Holt interjected.
“This is serious, Judge Keith,” Holt said. “I have three cats that I fed Friday morning and they're out of food.”
As the judge tried to explain he would have a Jonesboro police officer go by Holt's house to check on the cats, Holt interrupted and began rattling off their names: Snowball, Tinkerbell, and Little Boo-Boo Kitty.
While the audience tittered, Blackman assured Holt the cats would be taken care of. He then dismissed the suspect.
“Thank you and God bless you,” Holt said. “I'm looking forward to seeing you again, Judge Keith.”