Man in slaying of wife, child charged with aggravated murder

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TACOMA, Wash. - A 40-year-old man who police say confessed to killing his wife and daughter has been charged with two counts of first-degree aggravated murder.

 

Police said Dean Holmes shot his wife, Kristi Holmes, and their 11-year-old daughter, Violet Holmes, on Tuesday.

 

Pierce County prosecutors said Holmes shot his wife with a .38-caliber revolver as she slept in their Spanaway home.

 

Police said Violet Holmes was sleeping in the living room with a friend.  Both girls slept through the gunfire, which was drowned out by a fan running nearby, officials said.

 

Holmes then woke the girls and drove his daughter’s friend to her home in Auburn. On the return trip home, he pulled over to the side of the road and shot his daughter through an open rear window multiple times as she was sleeping in the back seat, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

 

He then drove to a fast-food restaurant and ordered food at the drive-up window with his daughter lying dead in the back seat, prosecutors said.

 

After trying to clean up the shooting scene and dispose of evidence, Holmes eventually turned himself in at the Pierce County Jail Wednesday morning and told officers he had shot his wife and daughter, police said.

 

 Prosecutors said Holmes told investigators that he had put his family in a bad financial situation and he was afraid his wife would leave him when she found out he had been lying.

 

Holmes said he killed his daughter because she would be unable to cope with her mother’s death and her father’s imprisonment, prosecutors said.

 

He claimed that after he shot his wife and daughter, he wanted to shoot himself and repeatedly placed the gun to his head but could not pull the trigger, authorities said.

 

 If convicted, Holmes will either receive the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.  Prosecutors told KIRO 7's Kevin McCarty on Thursday that they will consider pursing the death penalty.

 

Kristi Holmes' best friend called KIRO 7 to tell us about a memorial fund set up for Holmes at any Heritage Bank. Donations can be made to "The Kristi and Violet Holmes Memorial Fund." The funds will benefit the family's sole surviving daughter.