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Trial begins for man accused of killing girlfriend in her Palm Desert home

Richard Holbrook and Nicole Henderson
RSO / Family
Richard Holbrook and Nicole Henderson

Jury selection began today in the trial of a 25-year-old man accused of fatally stabbing his girlfriend at her Palm Desert apartment.

Richard Colin Holbrook of Escondido allegedly killed 33-year-old Nicole Henderson in 2019.

Holbrook is charged with murder, child endangerment and a sentence-enhancing allegation of using a deadly weapon -- a knife -- in the commission of a felony.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Rene Navarro summoned multiple panels of prospective jurors to the Banning Justice Center Wednesday for screening as to their availability and qualifications.

Jury selection is expected to conclude by Friday, though it was unclear whether opening statements would go forward then, or deferred until after the holiday weekend.

Holbrook is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.

According to sheriff's investigators, on the afternoon of Oct. 27, 2019, Holbrook and Henderson were involved in an unspecified dispute at her apartment in the 45-200 block of Panorama Drive, south of Highway 111.   

As the two were in the living room of the residence, the defendant allegedly grabbed a knife and stabbed her multiple times, according to prosecutors.

The attack was reported to law enforcement immediately afterward, and patrol deputies went to the apartment and discovered Henderson's lifeless body.   

Holbrook was identified as the alleged assailant at the scene. He was located a short time later less than a quarter-mile from the apartment building and taken into custody without incident.

The child endangerment count stems from the presence of a 4-year-old boy at the apartment at the time of the alleged attack, but it was unclear from court documents to whom the victim belonged.

Holbrook has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County. In addition to the murder case, he has two unresolved assault cases that were filed during his time in jail, awaiting trial.

Article Topic Follows: Crime

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