State police ‘not sure’ about leaked documents in Edward Holley case
There's been another twist in the Megan McDonald case: reports of leaked police documents have surfaced that seemingly points fingers at the Orange County district attorney and a county court judge.
According to the newly released media reports, USA Today obtained leaked state police documents that allege District Attorney Dave Hoovler “undermined and interfered” with the decades-old murder probe by allegedly not disclosing information revealed to him by a second person of interest in 2008, who was his client at the time, before he was elected to office.
“Any suggestion that I did anything to interfere with the investigation into Megan McDonald’s death is as categorically false as it is offensive,” says Hoovler. “I cannot speculate as to the motivations of those involved in the recent reporting regarding the investigation. Ethical rules prevent me from making any further comments about a former client."
The media reports also allege Orange County Court Judge Craig Brown once questioned if his own relative was a suspect and claim he denied two search warrants during the probe.
News 12 was unable to immediately reach Brown for comment.
Holley, who is McDonald’s ex-boyfriend, is accused of bludgeoning the 20-year-old woman more than a dozen times and leaving her body near a dumpster in a Town of Wallkill field in 2003. He was arrested by state police last April for second-degree murder after authorities said new DNA evidence linked him to the murder.
The case has been riddled with problems since.
Hoovler was noticeably absent from the state police press conference announcing the arrest and stepped down from prosecuting the case, claiming that his office was never notified charges would be filed and citing a conflict of interest with his former client, who died in 2010.
Special prosecutor Julia Cornachio was assigned to the case and given the daunting task of reviewing 20 years of evidence. Holley was let go from custody after an indictment couldn’t immediately be handed down, as required by law.
The Wawayanda man was indicted last week after the complicated case was presented to a Grand Jury and ordered to Orange County Jail by Judge Hyun Chin Kim on $500,000 bail.
“For the first time in 21 years, Edward Holley is going to jail for the murder of Megan McDonald. Our family is beyond grateful, and we are relieved,” said Karen Whalen, the victim’s sister, after Holley’s arraignment.
Holley denies killing McDonald and said following his arrest last April, “I’m definitely not guilty. I loved Meagan with all my heart."
His defense attorney, Paul Weber, maintains authorities have the wrong person.
“That’s why Mr. Hoovler never put the case into the grand jury because he knows they’re on a wild goose chase,” said Weber in an interview with News 12 last November.
Cornachio declined to comment on the allegations during the pending case.
The McDonald family issued this statement to News 12 through their attorney, John Beatty, saying, "Enough with the fake outrage. Stop abusing victims and their families. You, David Hoovler, will be held accountable."
News 12 has not been able to obtain a copy of the leaked document. State Police Troop F spokesperson Steve Nevell says they’re “not sure where the reporter received his information,” and declined to comment further.