Man serving life to be tried for assault

Inmate allegedly hit guard

Brandon Holt
Brandon Holt

Though he is already serving a life sentence for murder and rape in Erie County, a Sandusky man is to be tried a second time in Lucas County for allegedly assaulting a guard at Toledo Correctional Institution.

Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Gene Zmuda on Monday scheduled a new jury trial for Brandon Holt, 34, for June 17. Holt is charged with assault on a corrections officer for a July 10 incident at the state prison in Toledo.

His first trial on the charge ended May 1 after the panel could not agree on a verdict.

While the assault charge only carries a maximum sentence of one year in pri-son, prosecutors said they are committed to protecting jail and prison employees.

“We will do everything we can to protect corrections officers who are placed in difficult positions supervising inmates,” said Jeff Lingo, chief of the criminal division for the prosecutor’s office.

In 2004, Holt was sentenced in Erie County Common Pleas Court to life in prison with parole eligibility after 40 years after he pleaded guilty to aggravated murder, rape, and aggravated burglary for the June 27, 2002, death of Deborah Jensen, 48.

Ms. Jensen, who worked as the shelter manager for the Erie County Humane Society, was raped, beaten with a hammer, and stabbed repeatedly by Holt in her Sandusky home.

In the more recent case, prosecutors said Holt was in the medical wing of Toledo Correctional and needed to use the restroom when he became angry because there was not a restroom available nor was there a guard available to escort him. Holt allegedly began to take a swing at the lone guard in the waiting area, prompting the officer to spray Mace at him. Holt then knocked the corrections officer to the floor and assaulted him, prosecutors say.