ELYRIA — Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a Lorain man accused of killing Jimmie Holland Jr. during a burglary last year.
Elliott Kirkland, 27, had been facing aggravated murder, murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and other charges in the killing, but Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will said new information learned in the investigation led to the decision to take the case back to a grand jury and seek a death specification.
“We were able to identify him as the shooter,” Will said.
Lorain police were called to Holland’s Lexington Avenue apartment Aug. 29 by Jasmine Schafer, who told officers she had gone to the apartment to braid Holland’s hair. She said when she arrived, she grabbed two cans of root beer out of the fridge before she found Holland’s body.
She told police she tried to given Holland CPR before she fled the scene and called 911. Police have said the relationship between Holland and Schafer is unclear.
Police have said Schafer was initially cooperative, but said their investigation revealed she was lying about key parts of her story and was involved in stealing from Holland’s ransacked apartment.
Police recovered several missing items, including electronics and two cans of A&W root beer, from the borrowed Jeep Liberty that Schafer and a second woman, Latrice Thomas, were driving that night.
When officers confronted Schafer, she blamed Kirkland and Mark Sanchez for the robbery. A witness reported seeing Kirkland, who told police he had been with his girlfriend the entire night, enter the apartment armed with a handgun.
Will said because the robbery was planned, it elevated the killing to the level where prosecutors could seek the death penalty.
Sanchez is facing similar charges to those Kirkland faces, although he doesn’t have a potential death specification attached to his case.
Schafer is facing aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and obstructing justice charges, while Thomas is charged with obstructing justice in the case.
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