A man charged last week with first-degree murder in the 2010 shooting of a man outside a south Wichita auto shop was on parole when the killing occurred, records from the Kansas Department of Corrections and District Court show.
James Vell Holloman, 31, appeared in Sedgwick County District Court on Sept. 3 to face charges in the death of Stephen H. Smallwood, who was fatally shot outside of Perfection Auto, 4150 S. Broadway, on Dec. 13, 2010. Holloman was booked into Sedgwick County Jail on Aug. 30 after being transferred to Wichita from a federal prison in Pollock, La., where he is serving a 12-year term for conspiracy to commit robbery and weapons violations.
KDOC records show that Holloman had been paroled in-state on Jan. 6, 2010 – about 11 months before Smallwood’s homicide. He was on supervised release after serving the “prison portion” of a sentence imposed following an aggravated robbery conviction in a 2002 Sedgwick County case, state corrections spokesman Jeremy Barclay said.
A preliminary hearing in the murder case is set for Sept. 17. Holloman also faces one count of aggravated battery for wounding another man in the Perfection Auto shooting. He is being represented by court-appointed counsel.
Holloman’s transfer from Louisiana to Wichita last month marks the second time he has been booked into Sedgwick County Jail in connection with Smallwood’s homicide. He was also jailed on suspicion of murder, aggravated battery and a suspected parole violation on Dec. 17, 2010 – four days after Smallwood’s attack – but was released after authorities apparently had insufficient evidence to immediately charge him.
Police have said Smallwood, 41, and a 37-year-old man were sitting in a Buick at Perfection Auto when a man walked up and fired multiple rounds at the vehicle. Smallwood was on the passenger side when the shooter approached. He died at a local hospital about an hour later. In an e-mailed response to questions, Wichita police spokesman Lt. Doug Nolte said that Holloman is the only person who has been arrested on suspicion of Smallwood’s murder.
KDOC records show that the agency issued an arrest-and-detain warrant for Holloman on the same day as his first arrest. Barclay said the warrant was issued in response to one issued by Wichita police. Both were subsequently withdrawn, he said, and Holloman was free on parole again 11 days later. His KDOC sentence expired on May 14. Holloman was already in federal custody for crimes that occurred in 2011, also while he was on parole.
“We didn’t have anything on him,” Barclay said when asked why Holloman’s warrant following Smallwood‘s homicide had been withdrawn in 2010. “There was no other reason for us to issue a warrant for him except based on this (WPD) warrant.”
Later he added: “We had no other reason to have a warrant on him at that time.”
The Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office filed charges in Smallwood’s homicide about 15 months after Holloman’s arrest and release. The complaint, dated May 23, 2012, accuses Holloman of killing Smallwood “unlawfully, intentionally, and with premeditation” by “inflicting injuries” which led to his death. In it, he’s also accused of causing “great bodily harm or disfigurement” to Arlandez L. Thomas.
D.A. spokeswoman Georgia Cole said an ongoing investigation by authorities into the homicide eventually “provided the necessary evidence for us to file the case.”
That same year, Wichita police cleared Smallwood’s homicide, indicating that the suspect was serving prison time on other charges, according to an Eagle news report. Neither prosecutors nor police have shared a motive for the killing.
At District Attorney Marc Bennett’s request, Holloman last month was transferred to Sedgwick County Jail from Pollock Federal Correctional Complex to face prosecution on the murder charge, according to district court records. Federal court documents show that Holloman was sent to the Louisiana prison following a weapons and drug sting operation that took place in Wichita in 2011. Holloman – also identified by his street name “Los” in federal court records – pleaded guilty last June to conspiring to impede interstate commerce through robbery (known as a Hobbs Act Robbery) after he and others planned to steal cocaine from two men. He also pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm in connection with a crime of violence and to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.
Those crimes also occurred while Holloman was on parole for the 2002 aggravated robbery, records show. He was sentenced to 144 months in the federal case.
KDOC records show Holloman was also convicted of criminal possession of a firearm in a 2000 case filed in Sedgwick County.
In Kansas, a first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of life without parole for 25 years.