Grand jury reviews evidence in case against Wawayanda man accused of murdering ex-girlfriend  

Holley, 42, is accused of bludgeoning 20-year-old Megan McDonald in 2003.

Blaise Gomez

Nov 29, 2023, 10:42 AM

Updated 233 days ago

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News 12 has learned the case against a man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend two decades ago is now under grand jury review.
Edward Holley, 43, is accused of bludgeoning his ex-girlfriend, 20-year-old Megan McDonald, in the Town of Wallkill in 2003.
Holley was arrested in April by state police but has yet to be indicted. He was originally remanded to Orange County Jail without bail and then released when the case failed to immediately move forward, as required by law.  
On Wednesday, special prosecutors said in Wallkill Town Court that the evidence is now in grand jury review, in hope of obtaining an indictment. The case was adjourned at the local level until Jan. 31. Holley’s attorney, Paul Weber, spoke with News 12 outside of court. 
“It’s all part of the process. They are obligated to do it. Unless they dismiss the charge, they have to present it to a grand jury,” says Weber. “That’s just the normal course of business.” 
State police say new advances in DNA technology and new evidence allowed them to charge Holley, a longtime person of interest in the case, after two decades. 
The case, however, has been riddled with problems since.
Orange County District Attorney Dave Hoovler stepped aside because of a conflict of interest and shared concerns that he was never notified by police that charges would be filed.  
Two special prosecutors were assigned to the case and, after seven months, the case is moving forward. Lead prosecutor Julia Cornachio declined News 12’s request for an interview.  
The grand jury is tasked with deciding if there’s enough evidence to indict Holley and prosecute in county court. If not, the charge can be dismissed. 
Holley’s attorney says he believes the case will be thrown out and says they plan on filing a lawsuit against state police. 
 “This whole thing is a circus. It’s the state police trying to close the case. I get what they’re doing but it’s wrong,” says Weber. “At the end of the day, when this is all over, Mr. Holley is going to be a rich man.”
Authorities say the grand jury’s decision will be known by the end of January.
Holley remains free without bail. 
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