Saginaw slaying suspect’s condition upgraded to serious

Posted Thursday, Jul. 25, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A teen accused in the rape and killing of 6-year-old Alanna Gallagher is under 24-hour guard at a Fort Worth hospital as his condition improves, authorities said Thursday.

Tyler Lane Holder, 17, who was shot in the head as officers attempted to arrest him Tuesday morning at his Sagniaw home, was upgraded from critical to serious condition at John Peter Smith Hospital, Saginaw police said Thursday.

Arlington Detective Charles Lodatto, who authorities say was shot by Holder as officers served the arrest warrant, was moved from intensive care to a recovery room at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, Arlington police said Thursday. He remained in good condition with a gunshot wound to the groin area.

Alanna had been playing outside of her home on Babbling Brook Drive when, investigators believe, Holder snatched her on the afternoon of July 1, according to court documents.

Holder, who lived two doors down from Alanna’s home, is accused of sexually assaulting and suffocating the girl, then concealing her body in a trash bag and tarp and discarding it on a street less than a mile from her home. Court documents say he was linked to the crime through DNA found on the body and on a belt buckle wrapped around the tarp.

Holder faces a capital murder charge in Alanna’s death. And investigators obtained an attempted capital murder warrant Wednesday, accusing Holder of shooting Lodatto.

According to an arrest affidavit, when law enforcement officers arrived at Holder’s house to serve an arrest warrant Tuesday morning, he told investigators that he was not going to speak with them. Upon being told that he was under arrest, Holder reached behind him and pulled out a handgun, the affidavit states.

FBI agent Andy Farrell had pushed the teen inside the house and was struggling for the gun when Holder fired it, striking Lodatto in the groin, the affidavit states.

Saginaw Detective Robert Richardson returned fire, hitting Holder in the head, the affidavit states.

Lodatto was assigned to the Safe Street FBI Task Force, one of several groups investigating Alanna’s death.

Investigators have not linked Holder to the burning of the Gallagher family’s Ford Taurus in their driveway on the morning of July 19. A makeshift memorial of stuffed animals just down the street was also burned.

“We are focused on the death investigation right now,” said Saginaw officer Damon Ing on Thursday, a police spokesman. “We have sent some evidence collected in the arson case and we’re waiting for results.”

Investigators are treating the fire as arson, Ing has said. Agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting in the investigation.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763 Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

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