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Orange County News For Immediate Release Contact: Ryan Greenbaum Thursday, April 20, 2023 845.615.3657, 845.415.0868c
District Attorney Hoovler responds to press inquiries regarding the
arrest of Edward Holley
Edward Holley arrested by New York State Police without consultation with the
Orange County District Attorney’s Office
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler responded to numerous press inquiries regarding the arrest of Edward Holley on charges of Murder in the Second Degree for the March 2003 bludgeoning death of Megan McDonald. Questions were asked by members of the media at a press conference held by the State Police, at which representatives of the District Attorney’s Office were not present, and in inquiries made to the District Attorney’s Office regarding the role that the District Attorney’s had in the arrest and subsequent prosecution of the case.
District Attorney David M. Hoovler said, “The District Attorney’s Office has been tirelessly working with the New York State Police, and other law enforcement officials, on the investigation of Megan McDonald’s homicide since March of 2003. That cooperation has included devoting investigative resources, making applications for court orders to obtain evidence, funding scientific testing and paying for other investigative avenues designed to facilitate a viable prosecution of the individual who killed Megan McDonald. In the past few months, a Senior Assistant District Attorney has been working extremely closely with New York State Police Investigators on this matter. On April 20, 2023, at approximately 10:45am, the New York State Police informed the District Attorney’s Office an arrest had been made in the case and they were holding a press conference at 2:00 PM. It is a better practice, and has long been customary in Orange County, for police agencies working on complex matters with our Office to consult with the District Attorney’s Office prior to formally filing charges. Indeed, in this case, the District Attorney’s Office had previously been informed by the New York State Police that no arrest would be made without prior consultation with our Office.”
District Attorney Hoovler also said, “An arrest, as a matter of law, automatically vests defendants with more rights than they enjoy as subjects of an investigation. This includes the right to review investigative materials and items of evidence. Moreover, once a defendant is charged and held in custody, the grand jury must vote an indictment within no longer than six days from the date of the arrest or the defendant must be released. For that reason, complicated cases are normally at least partially presented to a grand jury before an arrest is made. The preferred practice is for police agencies to coordinate with prosecutors on serious cases. Grand jury presentations on “cold” homicide cases involving complicated fact patterns can rarely be commenced and completed within six days, without prior coordination. The family of the victim, and the entire community deserve to have homicide cases handled in the best way possible to provide the greatest opportunity for offenders to be held accountable. My Office will continue to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of the death of Megan McDonald and continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners.”
This criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.