Jury Rejects Insanity Defense of New Hampshire Wedding Shooter

Crime No Longer Considered a "Murder-suicide"

(LibertySons.org) – Brides typically envision their ceremonies and receptions as happy, perfect events to begin married life. Yet, in 2019, one unfortunate bride saw her ceremony become an active shooter scene while she and her bishop became gunshot victims. On November 9, a New Hampshire jury rejected a defendant’s insanity plea claim and convicted him of attempted murder and several assault charges.

On October 12, 2019, Dale Holloway, then 37, entered the New England Pentecostal Ministries church in Pelham, New Hampshire, during a wedding service taking place mere hours before a celebration of life for his stepfather, Luis Garcia. In fact, the groom slated to take his vows, Mark Castiglione, 60 at the time, was the father of the alleged shooter, Brandon Castiglione, then 28, accused of killing Garcia.

Prosecutor John Harding III reiterated something the defendant’s mother said in an interview with an investigator. She told detectives that her son “flipped out” when he heard the wedding and the celebration of life would take place the same day, separated by only a few hours. Holloway noted that many of the same people would attend both events, and he thought it was “inappropriate.”

Harding told the jury Holloway wasn’t insane, only angry. He shot Bishop Stanley Choate, then 75, in the chest and shot the bride, Claire McMullin, then 60, in the arm. He also pistol-whipped Mark Castiglione before parishioners tackled him to the ground and disarmed him. Miraculously, Choate lived. He experienced an extended recovery period. Both McMullin and Castiglione also recovered.

Holloway, now 41, acted as his own defense counsel in the 9-day trial. The jury convicted the defendant of the attempted murder of Choate, two counts of assault on Choate and McMullin, and other assault charges before deciding the question of his competency. Holloway tried to present evidence from a psychologist, testimony from his mother, and lyrics from rap songs he’d written. Yet, the panel said they did not find clear and convincing evidence of Holloway’s insanity.

Holloway could receive a sentence of up to life in prison for his crimes.

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