UNITED STATES NEWS

Man convicted in wedding shooting plays his rap music as part of insanity defense

Nov 8, 2023, 12:03 PM

NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — A man convicted of shooting and wounding a New Hampshire bishop and assaulting the bride and groom in 2019 played his own rap music for the jury Wednesday as part of his insanity defense, saying he wanted to show how he was dealing with demons and hearing voices.

The jury in Nashua had found Dale Holloway guilty on Tuesday on one of two attempted murder charges, and several assault charges. Holloway, 41, who is acting as his own attorney, had pleaded innocent. The panel, in considering whether he was criminally responsible, is now listening to him present evidence that he had suffered from a mental disease or defect when the crimes were committed.

Holloway told jurors Wednesday that one of the voices he heard was Satan’s.

“Maybe I did some things that I didn’t want to do that I feel as if Satan made me do,” he said in describing one of his songs.

The October 2019 shootings happened at New England Pentecostal Ministries in Pelham nearly two weeks after Holloway’s stepfather, a pastor at the church, was killed by the son of the groom. The son was later convicted of murder and sentenced to prison. A separate celebration of life ceremony for the pastor had been planned at the church for later on the day of the wedding.

In his closing arguments, Holloway had asked why the wedding hadn’t been separated from the day of his stepfather’s ceremony.

“They planned to stomp on his grave,” he said, referring to the bishop and the groom.

In his closing argument, prosecutor John Harding III said Holloway sat in a pew during the wedding ceremony before walking up to the participants.

“What he wanted to do is kill. That’s why he had a gun, a loaded gun,” Harding said.

Holloway is already serving 7 1/2 to 15 years in state prison for assaulting his lawyer. As part of his insanity defense, Holloway brought in a forensic psychologist who said she diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder and paranoid personality disorder, which she said appeared to have stemmed from his childhood. But she also testified that it was a preliminary draft, and not a full evaluation.

Shannon Bader, a forensic psychologist called by the prosecution, testified Wednesday it was her opinion that Holloway’s actions at the wedding ceremony were not the product of mental illness. She also said that when she interviewed Holloway in August for three hours, he said he heard voices in his dreams and did not appear to be distracted or say things that would be considered delusional.

Bader said she diagnosed Holloway with antisocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder and other specified trauma and stressor-related disorder, based on the August interview.

Stanley Choate, the bishop, was shot in the chest at the New England Pentecostal Ministries in Pelham. The bride, Claire McMullen, was shot in the arm.

Holloway was convicted of attempted murder in shooting Choate; two counts of second-degree assault in causing bodily injury to Choate and McMullen; simple assault for striking the groom, Mark Castiglione, on the head; and several other charges. The jury acquitted Holloway of an attempted murder charge in the shooting of McMullen.

Authorities said Castiglione is the father of a man convicted of killing Holloway’s stepfather.

Brandon Castiglione was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 42 years in prison earlier this year for fatally shooting Holloway’s stepfather, Luis Garcia, inside his home. Garcia was a pastor at the church. There was no clear motive for that shooting.

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Man convicted in wedding shooting plays his rap music as part of insanity defense