A Texas teenager pleaded guilty to raping and murdering his six-year-old neighbor last year, and now, he’s been sentenced to life in prison.
Reports say that 18-year-old Tyler Holder, who was 17 at the time of the gruesome crime, received a life sentence as part of a plea deal made with the district attorney. In addition to his life sentence, Holder has also been sentenced to 40 years for shooting a police officer, as well as another 20 years for lighting a car on fire a week after committing the murder.
6-year-old Alanna Gallagher went missing back in June of 2013, and in July 1 of that year, her body was found wrapped in a tarp and dumped on a residential street less than a mile from where she lived in Saginaw, Texas. An autopsy report later revealed that Gallagher was raped before she was murdered, and Holder wound up confessing to the crimes when his DNA was found inside of her.
“It does not bring her back to us. No matter how much suffering you undergo in prison, it won’t be as much as all the people who knew and loved Alanna have been, and will continue to be suffering,” said Laura Gallagher, Alanna’s mother, at Holder’s sentencing hearing.
“I hope you remember this, and that you live with shame for what you have done, every day that you live, every day that Alanna is gone from us. There are no more relaxed Saturday morning snuggles with her, filled with talk and giggles. I will never again get to go wake her first on a school morning, because she always woke the most cheerfully — I’d tickle her toes and say ‘Good morning, toes!’ and she’d laugh and say ‘Good morning, Mama!!’ and come help wake her siblings. Our house is emptier, and quieter, and sadder. We carry around a heavy hard stone of pain where our hearts used to be. And it’s your fault.”
Reports say that once they matched Holder’s DNA with the sample found inside Alanna, an arrest warrant was issued and they arrived at his home. Holder reacted violently, however, and initiated a shootout with the officers. One officer, Charles Lodatto, was injured in the incident. Cops were able to detain the teen, who himself was shot in the neck, and now, a year later, he will spend the rest of his life in prison.
“Today a dangerous killer was brought to justice,” said Deputy Chief District Attorney Bob Gill. “Tyler Holder will never pose a danger to another child. The family of Alanna Gallagher and Officer Charles Lodatto are very satisfied with this resolution of the cases.”