Special prosecutor appointed after Wallkill cold case murder suspect released

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, May 3, 2023
Special prosecutor appointed after Wallkill cold case suspect released
A special prosecutor has been appointed in the Megan McDonald case after a man charged with murder 20 years later was released.

ORANGE COUNTY, New York (WABC) -- A special prosecutor has been appointed in the case of a man charged with murder in a 20-year-old cold case in Orange County.

Edward Holley is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, Megan McDonald, in Wallkill in 2003. The 42-year-old was arrested in April, providing what state police called closure in a cold case.

McDonald, the daughter of a retired NYPD detective, died from blunt force trauma. Police say Holley murdered her because he owed her money and she was dating someone else.

Holley has long been considered the prime suspect and was interviewed numerous times by police before his arrest last month.

The arrest created a rift between police and the Orange County district attorney who says his office wasn't consulted.

Holley was released last week when the district attorney failed to get an indictment within six days of his arrest, as required by law.

Holley's attorney calls the 17-paige complaint a reach.

"There's no nexus between him and whatever incident occurred, no phone calls, no nothing," defense attorney Paul Weber said. "It doesn't even establish probably cause for the arrest, and I firmly believe the district attorney felt the same way and that's why there was the disagreement between the two."

A special prosecutor has been appointed. On Wednesday, Julia Cornachio said she is still being brought up to speed on two decades worth of evidence.

With Holley no longer in custody, the special prosecutor has six months to decide whether to present the case to a grand jury or drop the charges.

Holley's next court date is scheduled for June 7.

ALSO READ | Family still hurting amid NYPD detective's death 33 years after botched robbery

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