An Alabama woman has been sentenced to 99 years in prison for making a sexual torture video that was shared on social media.
Holly Debord, 37, of Albertville pleaded guilty to charges of sexual torture, bestiality and sodomy in Marshall County Circuit Court.
She made the video, which featured a mentally disabled man and an animal, with Van Christopher Havis, 55, of Guntersville, who pleaded guilty to the same charges.
Havis was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. According to court documents, he received a mandatory life term because of his prior convictions.
Explaining why Debord had been given such a lengthy sentence, the lead prosecutor in the case, Marshall County Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Bray, told local TV station WHNT: “This is one case that was just physically repulsive.
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“You know, it made your stomach churn watching these videos. It is so violent and so aggressive. And what they’re doing to this victim, again it’s just awful. Words can’t describe it.”
Debord’s sentence was handed down on September 7 and her co-conspirator’s a day later.
A spokesperson for the Marshall County Courthouse told Newsweek: “Justice was served.”
Third Suspect Charged
According to local news outlet AL.com, a third suspect—Frederick Steve Cookston, 62—was charged in connection with the video in January 2020.
Speaking after the three were charged in 2020, Marshall County Sheriff Phil Sims told Guntersville’s Advertiser-Gleam newspaper: “Our investigation started several days ago when some concerned citizens contacted the police department, sheriff’s office and district attorney’s office about an explicit video being circulated on social media and via messaging apps.
“The video depicted a sexual assault that occurred within the county.”
He added: “This is a unique case for what it involved. The one charge [bestiality] is not one you often hear about. It involved a domesticated animal and we are going to leave that there for now.”
Guntersville Police Chief Jim Peterson revealed that the video had been sent to local police and to news agencies, explaining: “Some news organizations have the video. The station managers handled it appropriately.
“They knew this was a bad situation and that law enforcement needed to be involved. It was the right thing to do. We appreciate that. Their actions can mean a lot to the case.”
In 2020, Marshall County District Attorney Everette Johnson described the case as “disturbing and offensive” and urged anyone who had been sent the video to their phone or computer to delete it.