Ricky's Former First Grade Teacher Testifies

By: Lori Dougovito
By: Lori Dougovito

Day two of testimony in the Lisa Holland murder trial brings testimony about Ricky's behavior and how others thought he acted. Lisa Holland is the Williamston woman accused of murdering her adopted son Ricky.

The first witness on the stand was a social worker from Jackson who called Ricky a normal boy. She also noticed some sort of injury on his arm and alerted child protective services, but according to protocol never spoke to the Holland's about it.

A Department of Human Services adoption specialist took the stand second. She helped the Holland's adopt Ricky and his siblings. Melissa Sewell, the adoption specialist, says she visited the Holland's Jackson home at least 12 times from November 2002-October 2003. Sewell says she never witnessed Ricky acting out like Lisa had said he was at home. Sewell says one time Ricky showed her his bedroom and she noticed what appeared to be a surveillance camera in the corner wall.

Peggy Cox, Ricky's former first grade teacher at Cascades Elementary School, was third on the stand Tuesday. Cox says, in class, Ricky was normally pretty cooperative. She first met the little boy in the spring of 2003 when he came in for an introduction with Lisa.

Cox says Lisa warned her to be prepared, that she would have problems with him. Cox says she had none at first, but then he began stealing food from the other kids, the cafeteria, the garbage and even her. Lisa insisted he not participate in birthday or holiday parties at school and never wanted him to bring food home says Cox. She also noted a harness Ricky was supposed to wear on the special ed bus he sometimes rode to and from school. Cox says Lisa wanted her to put it on him in the classroom in front of the other kids, but she refused because it would have been humiliating for him.

An adoption subsidy specialist was last on the stand Tuesday saying the Holland's received nearly $907/month for adopting Ricky. That's roughly half of the total amount of money the Holland's received in adoption funding.


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