Man Responsible For Brutal Bartlesville Murder Up For Parole

Wednesday, January 15th 2014, 8:09 pm
By: News On 6

The family of a couple murdered 31 years ago is hoping the man responsible stays in prison.

Russell and Neva Holden were stabbed to death in their Bartlesville home. David Sherrick was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison, but now the case is going before the parole board.

The Holdens' murder has been called the most heinous crime ever committed in Washington County.

The man serving time for killing them is up for parole and the Holden family says he needs to stay behind bars.

Laura Holden, the victim's niece, said, "This wasn't just your run of the mill murder. He didn't just walk in there and shoot them. These people were stabbed a combined total of 215 times."

Laura Holden never met her great aunt and uncle, but she carries around a file full of the details of their tragic death.

Harold Holden, known by everyone as Russell, and his wife Neva were killed on January 15, 1983 inside their Bartlesville home.

Each was stabbed with an ice pick and kitchen knife. Russell's finger was cut off and his ring stolen.

Russell Holden went from a poor, hardworking roughneck to owning a drilling company and becoming a millionaire.

"He didn't get to enjoy that very long because his life was taken," said Laura Holden.

Neva's daughter Neva Graham and her boyfriend David Sherrick were charged with the murder. Graham was acquitted, but Sherrick was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

31 years to the day of the murders, Sherrick went before the state parole board. He's been up for parole before but this was the first time it made it to the point where a Holden family member could testify before the board.

Somebody who is capable of those type of things shouldn't be allowed out on the streets," Laura Holden said. "You can't rehabilitate something like that, I'm sorry it just doesn't happen."

She said Sherrick has never shown remorse for killing the couple.

In 1990 he wrote Russell's son saying he is no longer on drugs and asked the family for a recommendation to be moved to a minimum security prison.

Holden hopes the parole board hears the family's plea and keeps Sherrick in prison.

"I shouldn't have to live in a community with someone who did this to my family," she said.

The parole board's decision is not expected to come down until sometime next Tuesday