Updated: 12/18/2013 7:40 AM
Created: 12/17/2013 5:38 AM KSTP.com
By: Megan Stewart
A judge sentenced an Apple Valley man to two consecutive life sentences Tuesday for killing his wife and unborn child.
A jury spent 10 hours deliberating and eventually convicted 37-year-old Roger Holland of two counts of first degree murder and two counts of second degree murder. The verdict was announced early Tuesday morning. The trial lasted two weeks.
Defense attorney Marsh Halberg says Holland was disappointed and surprised by the verdict.
According to the criminal complaint, Holland strangled his pregnant wife, 37-year-old Margorie Holland, at their town house last March and made it look like she accidentally fell down a staircase. Her 15-week old fetus also died.
Holland claimed he left home to get breakfast and found her unresponsive at the bottom of the stairs when he returned.
In court Tuesday, Margorie Holland's mother addressed the judge and Roger Holland. She said "Margorie's dreams of becoming a Physicians Assistant ripped from her, along with the excitement of motherhood. With the loss of my developing grandchild, Olivia, are anticipations of early childhood development, treasures that school years bring, along with budding imagination and discovery of life's wonders."
Roger Holland did not address the court Tuesday. He maintains his innocence. Under state law, the first-degree murder conviction will be automatically appealed to the state Supreme Court.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.