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He Couldn't Save Farmhand's Horse. The Farmhand Retaliated

Douglas Holley gets 105 years in prison for planting pipe bomb under veterinarian's bed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 23, 2018 12:15 PM CST
Douglas Holley apparently was "triggered" when his horse (not seen here) died.   (Jamie Francis/The Oregonian via AP, File)

(Newser) – A northwest Louisiana farmhand has been sentenced to 105 years after being convicted of planting a pipe bomb under the bed of the man and wife he worked for in retaliation for the man's failure to save his horse. "I'm going to remove you from normal society," news outlets quoted Bossier Parish Judge Parker Self as telling Douglas Holley. Holley, 56, represented himself after firing a court-appointed attorney, and he'd refused a plea deal of 40 years in prison, per the AP. He was convicted in August of attempted first-degree murder, making or possessing a bomb, and aggravated arson in connection to the bomb planted on Dec. 19, 2015. Holly Hill Equestrian Center co-owner Tracy Hewlett says she, husband Robert, their three small dogs, and a cat on the bed with them all escaped unharmed when the bomb went off, leaving shrapnel in the ceiling.

Hewlett says she and her husband were trying to sleep when they heard the boom. "There was a big flash of light, and both of us went flying," she said. Sheets, blankets, quilts, and pets also flew. The couple's thick mattress helped dissipate the bomb's force, an investigator told the Shreveport Times. The heavy farmhouse floors also helped. Hewlett said the only problem they could recall with Holley was that her husband, a veterinarian, had been unable to save Holley's horse from colic during the summer. The horse's death "triggered something from which you never recovered," KTBS quoted Self as saying to Holley. Hewlett said at the time that she and her husband thought Holley must be mentally ill and, while horrified by the bombing, felt sorry for him. "He's just ruined his life," she said then.

(Read more Louisiana stories.)

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