NORTHERN CAMBRIA - A former Indiana County man has been charged with killing a Northern Cambria man two years ago.
Sherman Lynn Holes, 42, formerly of Cherry Tree, had been a suspect since the opening days of the investigation into the beating death of Arthur Henry, 79, at Henry's home, court documents state.
DNA analysis led investigators to file a homicide charge against Holes, according to a criminal complaint obtained Monday by WTAJ-TV, which first reported the charges.
Henry was found severely beaten in his home June 30, 2010, and died three days later at Memorial Medical Center, Johnstown, police said.
Holes used a wooden two-by-four to beat Henry several times in the head, according to the criminal complaint. The primary cause of Henry's death was listed as "traumatic brain injury due to multiple blunt force trauma to the head."
On July 3, 2010, a woman told police that Holes asked her for a ride to Henry's house on June 30 to collect money owed to him, according to court documents. She told police she heard arguing and someone hitting someone else while waiting for Holes in her vehicle.
Holes was in the home for about 15 to 20 minutes, but when he came out he denied anything happened, saying, "What are you talking about?" when she asked what happened, and telling her, "No, you didn't," when she told him she heard an argument coming from inside, she told police.
On July 1, 2010, police found at the crime scene a piece of wood behind a clothes dryer with what appeared to be blood stains and hair on it, the court document said.
Testing revealed that DNA matching Holes was found on the bottom of the piece of wood along with DNA matching Henry's, which was also found on the other end of the wood. Holes' blood was also matched to blood found on the passenger seat of the woman's vehicle, police said. No fingerprints were found on the wood.
Brenda Romagna of Cherry Tree, who was living with Holes at the time, was arrested in July 2010 for hindering apprehension when police said she helped conceal Holes' whereabouts from law enforcement. An attempt to reach Romagna for comment was unsuccessful late Monday.
Holes pleaded guilty in 2011 to theft by unlawful taking and drug charges after a 2010 arrest in Clearfield County, online records show. He also pleaded guilty to burglary and possession of drug paraphernalia in 2011 in a separate case.
Holes was arrested in 2008 and then plead guilty to charges of simple assault, accidents involving death/personal injury, criminal trespass/simple trespassers and harassment in Clearfield, online records show. That same year in Blair County, Holes pled guilty to receiving stolen property.
Holes is also charged with aggravated assault and robbery in connection with Henry's death. He is serving state prison time at the State Correctional Institution at Retreat, Luzerne County, on unrelated crimes.