Local News

Man pleads guilty to attacks at Rocky Mount church

Posted September 3, 2009

— A man facing the death penalty for attacking two women in a Rocky Mount church pleaded guilty Thursday. Tommy Lee Holiday was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Holiday was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Debbie Kornegay, 58, and attempted murder in the stabbing of Eve Beasley, 60. He pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder and one count of robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Nash County Assistant District Attorney Keith Werner was seeking the death penalty in the case.

Kornegay, the director of Meals on Wheels, and Beasley, the assistant director, were preparing meals in the kitchen at Lakeside Baptist Church on Oct. 18, 2007, when, police said, Holiday attacked them.

Investigators said they believe Kornegay was trying to help Holiday find a shelter before he stabbed her multiple times. Beasley spent seven weeks recovering at Pitt Memorial Hospital from 10 stab wounds.


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  • luvmyjackrascal Sep 4, 2009

    Wow it looks like he got what he always wanted - 3 hot meals a day, a roof over his head, a bed , and free medical care. No wonder he's smiling.

    You are exactly right! That was my first thought when I read this yesterday.

  • rcrdngcountry Sep 4, 2009

    this deal should not be made in any cold blooded murder case.
    heck, we knew he was guilty. they gave him a choice, to die,
    or live, she did't have one. if he knew his day was coming next
    week, to die, he wouldn't be smiling. another walks away. its
    really sicking. murder, made a plea to save your life. he should
    not have this option/

  • moonpie Sep 4, 2009

    Had he gone to trial and been sentenced to death, the Racial Justice Commission could then use statistics to show that the sentence was motivated by race since the victim was white and the perpetrator black, thereby reducing the sentence to life without parole. His plea bargin saves the state lots of money...

  • dare107 Sep 4, 2009

    This is exactly why I always say " There is no justice, Just Us". Limit them to one appeal and stick a needle in their arm, pine box and cover them with dirt just like they deserve!!

  • Lead by Example Sep 4, 2009

    This type of situation is exactly why the death penalty needs to stay as an option in our state; it is an excellent prosecutorial tool. It is only when a District Attorney initially pursues the death penalty that these guilty murderers plead guilty, as they should.

    I am a strong believer in the executions of criminals, but can accept life in prison without parole IF the defendant pleads guilty and spares the victim's family the agony of a trial. The death penalty is so screwed up in this country anyway due to the guaranteed appeals process, the decades' long delay in executions, and the mounting cost of litigation.

    All things considered this was the right thing for the D.A. to do. If however the defendant wanted a trial I would have hoped the D.A. would have pursued the death penalty to the end.

  • NuGamma Sep 3, 2009

    I've come back to this story three times! Now I may appear a little slow, but please bear with me. WHY DID THIS MAN KILL AND PLUMAGE these women? I can't seem to find the answer in this story??

  • Wake1 Sep 3, 2009

    This guy truly, truly deserves without any shadow of doubt, the death penalty!!

  • Cloudy Sep 3, 2009

    Wow it looks like he got what he always wanted - 3 hot meals a day, a roof over his head, a bed , and free medical care. No wonder he's smiling.

  • dono422 Sep 3, 2009

    My information is there was an attempted sexual assault and the lady resisted so he killed her and tried to kill the witness, whom is still in bad shape and did not want to go to court and have to testify. I can understand that but in 15 years someone from the ACLU will claim he was wrongly convicted and demand a new trial but the witnesses will be gone and he will be let out.

  • AtALost Sep 3, 2009

    So now we get to support him for 60 or 70 years. Life in our prisons doesn't seem like adequate punishment. Considering he was already homeless and probably had no health care, it's an improvement for this guy. Unless he hates wearing orange, it's much better than what he had before. In a round about way, our justice system encourages violent behavior for anyone totally down and out.