Parents charged with killing the man who beat son to the truck show

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. – A southeast Missouri mother and father are charged with killing a man who attacked the couple’s 12-year-old son during a monster truck event.

Brenda Michelle Holt, 40, and Rickey Brunell Holt, 39, of Bunker, Missouri, were freed on bond Monday. They are charged with the crime of voluntary manslaughter in the death of the 41-year-old Joe Girard of Oak Ridge. No attorneys are listed for them in online court records, and a woman who answered the phone in their house said that they had no comment.

Butler County Sheriff Mark Dobbs said the melee started Saturday when Girard slapped or punched the guy while people were camping at Brick’s Off Road Park in Poplar Bluff during the “Trucks Gone Wild” event, The Daily American Republic reports. Witnesses described Girard as a very drunk and he said then started tearing up the camp. Dobbs said the boy fled to a friend of the family was in the area and that another friend of the family, then Girard several times. Dobbs said the boy’s mother and the father, then, to the camp and began beating Girard.

Dobbs said that witnesses reported Rickey Holt “jumped on the man’s head with both feet.” Dobbs said Brenda Holt was drunk and stumbled over the unconscious victim at a given time, making her husband think that Girard had knocked her down. Dobbs said that “fed the throbbing even further.” Witnesses said Girad was in and out of consciousness during the attack.

Dobbs said that at one point, Girard’s friends, by a large crowd that had gathered to watch the beating, puts Girard in the back of a truck and drove him to emergency services.

“Defending yourself is one thing, but this is outside the line,” said Dobbs, who officials are not visible injuries to the Holts’ child.

Researcher Brandon Lowe wrote in the probable cause statement that Brenda Holt said her husband took off to run after her son ran into a field and said that he was hit in the face. She said that she loaded her children into her car and followed behind. She said she then kicked Girard in the head, after he denied hitting her child, because she was “upset about her child being mistreated.”

Lowe said Rickey Holt reported that when he saw Girard on the ground, he “‘black-out’ and began punching Girard because his son was hit. Lowe wrote that a witness said that Rickey Holt beat Girard about 20 times.

Butler County Coroner Andy Moore said the autopsy shows that Girard died of suffocation after his larynx was broken, and a neck bone broken.


Information from: Daily American Republic,

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