The Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office (CDA) announced last Monday that a jury had returned a guilty verdict against a man accused of killing his girlfriend.
Q’Juan Tiakei Holmes, 35, murdered Angela Gagne in her Fort Worth duplex. The conviction carries an automatic life sentence with no possibility of parole.
Prosecutors said at trial that Holmes severely beat and killed Gagne, 41, on June 10, 2017.
Also arrested in connection with the capital murder investigation is Holmes’ older brother, Xondadric Antonio Holmes, who is alleged to have participated in the murder. The brothers are also said to have stolen televisions and personal items before fleeing the scene.
Gagne was discovered by police in her home on June 12 during a welfare check. She was found “naked, brutally beaten, and shot in the head four times” on the floor of a spare bedroom, according to a statement from the Tarrant County CDA.
Police reported that the living room was in disarray and noted that an entertainment center was pulled from the wall with wires hanging loose. When police arrived, music continued to play loudly, and an electric burner on the stove was left on.
Police quickly narrowed in on Holmes as a suspect. He had fled to Florida on a bus shortly after the murder and was apprehended by police there before being extradited to Texas to face justice. Police in Crestview, Florida, were tipped off by the U.S. Marshals Service that Holmes was likely in the small panhandle town. He was arrested on July 13 at a home without incident.
Xondadric Holmes was also arrested and faces a capital murder charge which is still pending. Under Texas law, both men can receive the same sentence regardless of their role in the crime.
Gagne had called 9-1-1 on June 4 and had reported that her boyfriend was beating her. Gagne was a mother of five. It is unclear whether she had pressed charges or requested a restraining order before her murder.
During the trial, her next-door neighbor testified that he heard loud music playing from the unit occupied by Gagne. Carlos Riviera, who was home with his wife, two children, and a child they were babysitting, said that despite the loud music, he heard the gunshots.
Riviera testified that he heard Gagne and Holmes loudly arguing for one or two hours before another individual — allegedly Xondadric Holmes — arrived and attempted to de-escalate the situation. Riviera said that despite the second man’s efforts, the argument continued, with Holmes saying, “I’ll take your life!” at one point.
Riviera and his wife knocked on Gagne’s door the day after the incident but did not get a response. Riviera said he thought about calling the police but worried that Holmes would retaliate against him.
An acquaintance of Holmes also testified against him at trial. The individual told the jury that he had sold three televisions he received from Holmes, believed to be among the items stolen from Gagne’s home.
In exchange for his testimony, the witness was granted immunity from prosecution in connection with the stolen televisions. The individual is currently facing charges of ongoing sexual abuse of a child in an unrelated case but did not make a deal with prosecutors in that matter.