BOSTON, Oct. 10, 2013—A Dorchester man today admitted stabbing 30-year-old Thomas Whitley to death after a fight inside a Roxbury liquor store three years ago, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
TAJUAN HOLLOMAN (D.O.B. 5/7/71) pleaded guilty to the crime of manslaughter for stabbing Whitley outside Dearborn Liquor Store in Roxbury on Nov. 6, 2010. At the request of Assistant District Attorney David Deakin, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Christine McEvoy sentenced Holloman to 12 to 13 years in state prison.
Holloman was initially indicted for second-degree murder, which carries a life term with parole eligibility after 15 years.
Had the case proceeded to trial, Assistant District Attorney David Deakin would have presented evidence and testimony to prove that, at approximately 8:00 p.m. on Nov. 6, 2010, Whitley and a younger relative entered Dearborn Liquor Store, followed shortly thereafter by Holloman. The two men were known to each other and a fight quickly erupted between them.
During the fight, the evidence would have shown, Holloman was armed with a machete and Whitley with a utility knife. With the assistance of his family member, Whitley was able to overpower Holloman, injure him, and tossed the machete away.
The evidence would show that Holloman exited the liquor store and paced outside until Whitley emerged. Holloman then stabbed the victim twice and fled.
Whitley sought help inside a nearby bodega before collapsing outside the store. He was transported to Boston Medical Center, where he died of his injuries.
Boston Police identified Holloman as a suspect based on surveillance images, witness statements and identifications. In addition, blood evidence at the liquor store was matched to Holloman, who had suffered a facial injury that bled during the fight inside the store. The weapon used in the fatal attack was not recovered.
Holloman arrived at Boston Police headquarters on Dec. 2, 2010, and agreed to be interviewed by detectives. During that interview, he admitted that he had been in a fight at the liquor store and that the altercation stemmed from an unpaid drug debt.
In a victim impact statement, Whitley’s younger sister told the court how Whitley’s death has affected his family – including his four children.
“It’s heartbreaking to hear a child ask why their father can’t come back as they have tears in their eyes or them asking was it because they were a bad girl or boy that he had to go. Every year at their birthday parties, I sometimes see the kids looking around hoping that he would show up. Their lives have been affected tremendously and it is sad that they have to go through this,” she said in an emotional impact statement.
Jennifer Sears is the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Holloman was represented by Liam Scully.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.