On Aug. 24, 2001, around 10 p.m., Spears hid in the closet of the bedroom where Holland’s son usually slept.
The 14-year-old boy was visiting his father for the weekend.
Four hours later, Spears went into Holland’s bedroom and woke her when he started binding her hands and feet with duct tape. They struggled and at one point he punched her in the head and began to choke her. Once she was unconscious, Spears carried her back to the bedroom where he wrapped her face and head with duct tape and then covered her head with a plastic bag that he secured with the tape. Holland’s body was found the next day after her ex-husband brought their son home from a weekend visit with his father.
“Last thing she said was she loved me,” Spears told investigators. “Swear to God, that’s the last thing she said.”
Spears readily admitted he murdered her. He told Lumpkin County investigators that he had warned her at the beginning of their almost-three-year relationship that he would kill her if she ever replaced him with another love interest.
“If I had to do it again, I’d do it,” Spears told investigators when he was arrested after hiding in the woods for 10 days.
Spears has not filed any appeals beyond the automatic challenge that was brought on his behalf after he was convicted and sentenced to die.
If he is put to death, Spears will be the eighth person in Georgia to die by lethal injection this year, more than any other state and more than any time in the state since capital punishment was reinstated nationwide 40 years ago.