7 years later, jury selection to begin in accused cop killer's t - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

7 years later, jury selection to begin in accused cop killer's trial

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Anthony Holly Anthony Holly
Bryan Hulsey Bryan Hulsey
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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Glendale police officer Anthony Holly was killed in the line of duty back in 2007, but his family is still seeking justice.

Not because police have failed to make an arrest in the case -- Holly's suspected killer is behind bars. 

Several delays have forced the start of a trial to drag on for seven long years.  Jury selection is expected to begin Monday, but as Officer Holly's mother tells FOX 10, she's been at this point before, only to be disappointed time and time again.

A sign marks the spot near 60th Avenue and Oregon where Officer Holly was shot and killed during a traffic stop.  A ribbon wrapped around it is faded.  A dried up flower, once dyed blue, still lays at the base.

It's been seven years since Holly's death and his accused killer is still awaiting trial.

"Our grief's the same.. every day, Tony's not here.. the trial won't change that, but it's just something we need to get done," said Nancy Bonner.

Right now, jury selection for the trial is set for Monday.  Bonner says every indication is the trial will finally begin.

"We're optimistic.  We've been here before though, several times in the last several years and had it stopped," she said.

Holly's mother met us at Wesley Bolin Plaza at the Peace Memorial where she touched her son's name.  She says it doesn't matter how many years have passed.  It doesn't get any easier.

"Part of the grieving journey is putting to some sort of conclusion the justice part of the act," said Jan Blaser-Upchurch.

Blaser-Upchurch, the President of Concerns for Police Survivors, or C.O.P.S. in Arizona, is baffled as to why it's taken seven years for the Holly case to go to trial.

"It's certainly to me is disrespectful to him and all he gave to his community.. he gave the ultimate sacrifice," said Blaser-Upchurch.

The case has been set for trial several times.  It's believed to be the oldest capital murder case in the country right now.

Who is to blame?

"I think there's lots of people involved in this.  Certainly the defendant has manipulated the system to a degree and certainly people in the county. I don't know.  It's hard to know," replied Blaser-Upchurch.

Juan Martinez, the prosecutor assigned to the case, is the same attorney who prosecuted Jodi Arias.

In an article on the C.O.P.S. web site, Blaser-Upchurch states, "Year after year, the trial has been delayed (most recently for the Jodi Arias trial), making the healing process that much difficult for his survivors."

In the words of Holly's mother, "Enough is enough."

In February, those concerned about yet another delay in the Holly case, due to Arias' sentencing retrial, filled the courtroom.

"How can a judge and prosecutors not pay attention when you have survivors saying this is wrong to continue this?" said Blaser-Upchurch.

The judge ultimately said he would not delay the trial any longer.  Arias' sentencing was pushed back.

A spokesperson for the county attorney's office says they're not commenting on the case, but added the primary reason for the delay is that Bryan Hulsey, the man accused of killing Officer Holly, has had multiple changes of attorneys due to either his request or the request of his counsel.

Bonner says her son was more than a police officer.  The 24-year-old served in the Air Force, he loved baseball and his brother.

"Tony was a little boy and a teenager and just a great young man."

If the trial does go on as planned Monday, Bonner is not sure what to expect.

"It's going to be horrific.. we know for all of us who know Tony.. to relive that day and the moments of that day, but it's just something we need to get done and behind us."

Blaser-Upchurch says she hopes the county and the court system look at all of the factors that led up to this lengthy delay of trial.

If convicted, Hulsey faces the death penalty.
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