Murder charges were filed Monday against an Apple Valley, Minn., man in connection with the death of his wife and unborn child.
Roger Holland, 36, is charged with second-degree murder, but prosecutors will seek first-degree murder charges. He is currently being held on $1 million bail.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom explained in a release that Apple Valley police were called to the couple's apartment on 157th Street West after Holland called 911 to report his pregnant wife was in cardiac arrest at the bottom of a flight of stairs.
According to the criminal complaint, police found the 37-year-old Margorie Ann Holland at the bottom of the stairs at the Hearthstone Apartments on the morning of March 7. She was taken to Fairview Ridges Hospital where she and her unborn child died later that morning.
Prosecutors say Roger Holland told investigators he had left the home to buy breakfast for the two when he returned to find her face down on the floor, wrapped in a blanket and non-responsive at the base of the steps.
According to prosecutors, Roger Holland told police he turned her over and began CPR before calling 911; however, investigators observed scratches on his face and neck.
Although Roger Holland told police his relationship with his pregnant wife was good and that the two did not have financial problems, text messages included in the charging documents show the couple argued numerous times about money -- and that Margorie Holland didn't trust her husband and planned to divorce him.
Roger Holland, however, allegedly had different plans. Investigators say he searched the web on his cell phone the day before her death, using the phrase, "if you pass out and fall down a flight of stairs can you break your neck, can your neck be broken if you are."
Investigators also uncovered texts between cell phones relating to the breakfast purchase Roger Holland had mentioned. He claimed he had received a text message from his wife at 9:29 a.m., but police say video surveillance at the building shows he did not leave the home until 9:34 a.m.
Though Holland told police his wife fell down the stairs, Backstrom said the autopsy revealed she was strangled. Medical personnel and police also reported finding numerous other injuries on her body, including bruises and cuts on her head, face, hands, legs, ankles and feet.
This latest case of domestic homicide adds to the troubling rise in deadly violence against women this year in Minnesota. Last year, the Coalition for Battered Women's Femicide Report showed statistics were down, with 18 victims statewide. However, in 2013, there are already seven names on the list.
Margorie Holland was about 15 weeks pregnant when she died. In interviews with police, Roger Holland said they had been married for three years and both were members of the Texas National Guard who moved to their Apple Valley home in December.
"We are saddened to be filing murder charges today in connection with the first homicide in Dakota County in 2013," Backstrom said. "Our deepest sympathy is expressed to the family and friends of Margorie Holland for their great loss."
Roger Holland will make his next court appearance on March 13 at 11 a.m. in Hastings.