October 25, 2018 08:37 PM
Timothy Holmes, the man convicted in a case in which an Eden Prairie police detective is accused of lying on a search warrant, was granted release from jail Thursday afternoon.
The attorney for Holmes filed a motion to have his guilty plea and sentencing vacated. The judge agreed and ordered his immediate release.
Jail records show he was released from the Hennepin County Jail Thursday night.
Holmes was released from prison nearly two weeks after his lawyer filed the motion. He’s served about six months of his six-year sentence.
“It’s a life-changing event and I'm confident he's going to make some life-changing decisions in a positive way,” said Frederick Goetz, Holmes' attorney.
Holmes pleaded guilty to a felony drug sale charge and was convicted in May. As part of the plea deal, a third-degree murder charge was dropped. He was accused of selling the drugs that killed Maggie Lane in June 2017.
“That's somebody who he was, he doesn't want to be that person anymore,” said Goetz.
An issue with the search warrants came up before Holmes pleaded guilty. Goetz said, during court on Thursday, they agreed to the plea deal because they thought the search warrant issue “boiled down to sloppy paperwork."
But investigators now say detective Travis Serafin intentionally lied about the search warrant in the case.
Officers initially found drugs inside Holmes' car and home, but Serafin only had a search warrant for Holmes' house. So, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office alleges, Serafin copied the original, signed warrant and attached a new cover page to include the vehicle.
When the county attorney’s office gave a press conference on Oct. 12 accusing Serafin of lying, Goetz filed the motion to withdraw Holmes' plea.
“To have the lead detective commit perjury on the witness stand taints the entire investigation from the beginning,” said Goetz.
As Judge Fred Karasov agreed to release Holmes, he said of the circumstances, "I think this is a travesty of justice" and “this not the way things are supposed to work”.
Maggie’s father Christopher Lane was in the courtroom during the hearing.
“The system let her down, it didn't function the way that it should have and somebody has got to be held accountable,” said Lane. “I’m sure the detective in this case thought he was doing the right thing to get Mr. Holmes off the street but the result of what he did is now Mr. Holmes is back on the street."
He said it has hurt not only his family, but others.
“I am angry and I would ask anyone who’s been affected by this, let’s speak up and let’s speak out,” said Lane.
The Hennepin County Attorney's Office said 32 cases in which Serafin played a key or peripheral role could be dismissed as a result of the allegations. Serafin has not yet been charged with a crime.
Earlier in the morning, Torrance Gray’s case was also dismissed by a judge because of Serafin’s involvement. He will remain in prison, however, because of charges in an unrelated case.
Frank Rajkowski & Callan Gray
Updated: October 25, 2018 08:37 PM
Created: October 25, 2018 03:57 PM
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