Wichitan pleads guilty to what witnesses called a revenge murder

06/23/2014 4:33 PM

08/08/2014 10:25 AM

A Wichita man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder involving a case that witnesses said was a revenge killing.

James Vell Holloman, 32, pleaded guilty Friday in Sedgwick County District Court to fatally shooting Stephen H. Smallwood outside Perfection Auto, 4150 S. Broadway, on Dec. 13, 2010, a court spokesman said Monday.

An aggravated battery charge was dropped. His sentencing is set for Aug. 27 by Judge Christopher Magana.

During testimony in October, witnesses said Holloman shot Smallwood, 41, because he thought Smallwood was involved in the killing of Holloman’s brother, Sammy “Ray Ray” Smith, in 2009.

A witness said Holloman’s father determined that Smallwood was involved in the killing of Smith. That case remains open.

Smallwood, who was the owner of Perfection Auto, was shot to death and another man was wounded as they sat in a car outside the business.

Holloman was transferred in August to the Sedgwick County Jail on the murder charge from a federal Louisiana prison, where was serving a 12-year term for weapons and conspiracy to commit robbery.

It was the second time he had been booked into the 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 was shot to death – but was released because authorities didn’t have enough evidence to charge him immediately.

Holloman was on parole at the time of Smallwood’s killing, according to Kansas Department of Corrections records.

He had been paroled in-state on Jan 6, 2010 – about 11 months before Smallwood was killed – and was on supervised release following a 2002 conviction of an aggravated robbery conviction in Sedgwick County.

Editor's Choice Videos

Join the discussion

is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service