Trial begins for Wake Forest man accused of killing pregnant woman, her boyfriend in 2016

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The capital murder trial began Monday for a Wake Forest man accused of killing a pregnant woman and her boyfriend at a Raleigh motel.

Seaga Gillard, 30, is charged with the murders of 22-year-old April Lynn Holland and 28-year-old Dwayne Garvey. Investigators found the victims’ bodies on Dec. 2, 2016, at America’s Best Value Inn on Arrow Drive. Holland was four months pregnant. She and Garvey had three other children.

Search warrants indicate that before his capture, Gillard searched the Internet for information about penalties for double homicide and killing an unborn child. Records from Gillard’s smartphone showed searches including “how much can you face for double homicide nc” and “fetal homicide state laws.”

Gillard is accused of multiple sex crimes in an unrelated incident which took place five weeks before the killings. Investigators charged Gillard with first-degree forcible rape, first-degree kidnapping, assault by strangulation, first-degree forcible sex offense and robbery with a dangerous weapon following an Oct. 28, 2016 incident in Morrisville.

Warrants said Gillard used a telephone cord to choke a woman during a sexual assault in Morrisville. Investigators said he held her at gunpoint and stole her wallet, identification cards, cell phone, and $200.

Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway is hearing the capital murder trial at the Wake County Justice Center. Jury selection began Jan. 7 and included individual one-on-one conversations with jurors.

Prosecutors charged two other suspects in connection to the December 2016 double homicide.

Brandon Xavier Hill, 31, also faces murder charges while 29-year-old Brittany Jenzell Hooks is accused of helping Hill avoid capture by speeding away from law enforcement vehicles.

Police chased Hooks’s car on Dec. 3, 2016, along Interstate 540 in Raleigh. Officers said Hill jumped out of the vehicle and ran away in Durham County.

Investigators found stolen police uniforms in Hooks’s vehicle as well as firearms. Police confirmed the clothing was stolen from a Durham officer’s home in November 2016.

Records show a large bag found in the car contained two Durham police jackets, one Durham police sweater, four Durham police uniform pants, four Durham police long sleeve shirts, four Durham police short sleeve shirts, one Durham police winter jacket, one Durham police hat with badge, one North Carolina Department of Corrections badge, one Fugitive Agent badge, and multiple handguns with dozens of rounds of ammunition.

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