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Press Release

District Man Indicted for Premeditated Murder and Arson Following Multiple-Hour Barricade and Police Standoff in Southeast, D.C.

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Was on Release Pending Trial in Another Felony Case

            WASHINGTON – Sherman Holley, 46, of Washington, D.C., was charged by indictment today for the January 2023 murder of James Brooks, Jr. and subsequent arson of a residence following a barricade and standoff, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Chief Pamela Smith of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            The indictment charges Holley with first-degree premeditated murder while armed, arson, resisting arrest, and related offenses, all committed while Holley was on pretrial release.

            According to the government’s evidence, in the evening on January 15, 2023, Holley stabbed Brooks, Jr. multiple times in the torso while the men were walking together through an alleyway near the Southeast, Washington, D.C. home where Holley had been residing.  Brooks, Jr. was pronounced dead at the scene.  Holley fled the scene but returned to the residence the next day. When law enforcement responded, Holley barricaded himself inside the home and, after a multiple-hour standoff with police, set the residence on fire before surrendering. 

            Holley was arrested for the murder on January 16, 2023, and has been detained pending trial since his arrest. At the time of these events, Holley was on release pending trial in another felony case in Washington, D.C.

            This case is being investigated by members of MPD’s Homicide Branch.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles R. Jones.

            An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated November 8, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-688