Jury Finds Gas Station Shooter Guilty of Murder

Baltimore Courthouse

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Jury came to a verdict Monday, finding 28-year-old William Holland guilty of first-degree murder.

William Holland, 28, is charged with first-degree murder, attempted first and second-degree murder, first and second-degree assault, attempted robbery, attempted carjacking, and three gun-related charges for fatally shooting 21-year-old Henry Orella at a Citgo gas station on the 1100 block of Dundalk Avenue as well as assaulting Orella’s father when he attempted to stop the suspect. on Dec. 14, 2020. 

Holland was also found guilty of possession of a firearm with a felony conviction and wearing a handgun on his person. In reference to the surviving victim, Orella’s father, the jury found Holland guilty of attempted second-degree murder, attempted armed robbery, armed robbery, and use of a handgun during a felony violent crime.

According to Orella’s father, Orella was on his way to work in Washington D.C. when he stopped at the gas station around 4:40-4:45 a.m. The father saw a man approaching him on the left side of the car while Orella was looking at his phone. The father did not see a gun on him. The man spoke to him, but the father could not understand him because he speaks Spanish. When the father failed to understand him, Holland shot his son, firing at the driver seat window four times. 

Orella sustained multiple gunshot wounds; the most significant being to the right side of the victim’s chest.

When his son was shot, the father tackled the suspect and both men fell to the ground. The father sustained three head injuries and was rendered unconscious. He said he recalls trying to grab the gun from the shooter and being in the hospital talking to police and nurses who were trying to get as much information as possible from him while he was being treated.

On April 12, jurors listened as the father described the suspect as a black man wearing a black hoodie along with a mask. 

Another witness, an employee at the gas station, who made the 911 call after the incident occurred said he heard gunshots and saw two people fighting. He said he was in shock when he saw Orella shot because he knew the father and Orella as regulars.

The employee was shown a photo array by police following the incident and identified Holland as the shooter. 

The defendant’s mother, a lieutenant for the Baltimore Police Department, told the jury during her testimony that she saw her son’s face on a flier and called the police on him. 

But, defense attorney Angela Shelton told the jury that the investigation was not thorough and lacked evidence. She said the witness that called 911, the gas station employee, was unable to describe the shooter to the police. She said the prosecution had no evidence against the defendant. 

The police photographed everything in and around the car and the car was processed in the forensics lab. Both the victims’ belongings and DNA from the surviving victim’s fingernails were also collected, in addition to receipts from the gas station. 

A crime lab technician collected a yellow shirt with blood on it, a shoe, and five cartridges.

The victim’s clothes were not tested for the shooter’s DNA, nor was the defendant’s DNA collected. According to the lead detective, he did not feel the need to check Holland’s phone location at the time of the incident although it is possible to live track phones. 

The lab technician mentioned that the lead detective also told her to focus on collecting evidence inside the store after she collected evidence outside the store. She tested for fingerprints on tobacco wraps the shooter had allegedly touched. 

Shelton questioned if the technician tried to collect a print from a tobacco wrap closer to the scene, but she did not because she was instructed not to process prints closer to the incident. The defendant had allegedly bought tobacco wraps that morning. 

There were eight surveillance cameras at the gas station. The entire incident was caught on video. The prosecutor presented photos and a 10-minute video of the incident to the jurors. 

This gas station was a part of the routine of both the victims and the defendants, the prosecutor said. The defendant went to the gas station to buy cigarettes almost every day and the victims stopped there to get gas before heading to work. 

Neither had crossed paths before this day when the incident occurred, she continued, saying the defendant shot the victim due to a language barrier when the defendant tried to secure the car from Orella and his father.

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