Defendant in double murder dies in custody
— A man accused of gunning down his stepmother and stepbrother near Elkton in March amid an inheritance dispute has died of “natural causes” while in pretrial custody, a Cecil County Sheriff’s Office supervisor reported Wednesday afternoon.
Physicians and investigators do not suspect foul play, according to CCSO Chief Deputy Gerald K. Widdoes.
Marty Cyle Holbrook, 30,
died at 2:35 p.m. on Tuesday at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where he had arrived by Maryland State Police helicopter at 11:32 p.m. on Monday after “experiencing a medical issue” at the Cecil County Detention Center, Widdoes reported.
A nurse with a contracted medical provider, Prime Care, noticed Holbrook experiencing an undisclosed medical episode inside his cell while making evening rounds and, as a result, paramedics were dispatched at 6:48 p.m. Monday, he said.
An ambulance transported Holbrook to Union Hospital in Elkton and he was later transferred, under watch by officers, to Johns Hopkins Hospital by helicopter, he added.
CCSO officials contacted Holbrook’s relatives and informed them that he had been flown to Johns Hopkins and they went there to be with him, according to Widdoes.
“A doctor from Johns Hopkins Hospital signed the death certificate as ‘natural causes.’ Since no foul play was suspected and a physi- cian signed the death cer tificate, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner declined to perform an a u t o p s y, ” Wi d d o e s said, adding that “there were no signs of injury” to Holbrook.
Holbrook had been held without bond in the county jail since March 29, after his arrest in the doublemurder case. His post- arrest incarceration was delayed by a day because he had suffered an unspecified medical problem, after a concerned relative had driven him to CCSO’s headquarters within two hours after the March 28 double homicide.
Holbrook stood accused of systematically going to two nearby residences in the 900 block of West Pulaski Highway about 9:30 p.m. March 28 and fatally shooting James David Crockett,
30, at one of those locations before gunning down Crockett’s mother, Vicky Lynn Holbrook, 50, at the other place moments later, police reported.
“A witness stated that there had been issues between Marty Cyle Holbrook, Vicky Lynn Holbrook and James David Crockett since Marty Cyle Holbrook’s father passed away, and he felt he should have gotten the inheritance. The witness stated that (Marty Holbrook) was going to kill Vicky Lynn Holbrook and James David Crockett and had a .357 snub nose handgun in his possession,” CCSO Det. William Sewell, lead investigator, wrote in court documents.
Moreover, the suspect allegedly had abandoned an earlier plan to kill them be- cause circumstances weren’t ideal, police reported.
“The witness stated that the murders were planned and that Marty Cyle Holbrook was planning to do it several days prior; however, there were children present,” court records allege.
On the night of the incident, a neighbor looked out the window after hearing gunshots and saw Holbrook “fire a handgun at his stepbrother, James David Crockett, on the outside stairway of 938 West Pulaski Highway, striking him,” police said.
At that point, police added, the alleged gunman went to 434 West Pulaski Highway and fired several rounds at the door locks, before kicking in the door.
“After the door was forced open, the witness observed Marty Cyle Holbrook enter the residence, where he shot his stepmother, Vicky Lynn Holbrook,” court records allege.
Then, after fatally shooting his stepmother, Marty Holbrook stole her black 2004 Ford Explorer and drove away, police reported.
The neighbor, who called 911, was able to provide CCSO investigators with information. The two shooting victims were pronounced dead at the crime scene, which is hidden behind businesses fronting West Pulaski Highway, including a car-carrier shop and a tattoo parlor, both across the road from Paradise Motors dealership.
About two hours after the deadly shootings, a “concerned” relative drove Marty Holbrook to CCSO’s headquarters near Elkton and reported that Holbrook had “stated he did something very bad and hurt people,” police said.
The relative did so after Holbrook had arrived at his residence “in an SUV that he did not recognize, which was found to be” Vicky Holbrook’s stolen vehicle, police added.
Investigators found .357-caliber rounds on the floorboard of the vehicle that had been used to transport Marty Holbrook to the police station, according to police.
Sewell reported in court documents that he also had recovered .357-caliber shell casings and live rounds at the crime scene.
Because of a “medical condition unrelated to his arrest,” Marty Holbrook was taken to an undisclosed health care provider shortly after arriving at the headquarters and remained there under guard, until he was discharged and transferred to the county jail on the initial district court murder charges, police reported.
On April 13, a Cecil County grand jury handed up an indictment against Holbrook, charging him with two counts of first-degree murder and 13 other offenses. Holbrook was arraigned on April 20, court records show.