Victim’s family considers Marion County courts responsible for woman’s brutal murder while suspect wore GPS monitor

Crime in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis murder suspect allegedly killed his girlfriend while on pre-trial GPS monitoring for stabbing a gas station customer in December of 2020.

Marcus Garvin is now charged with murder in the death of 30-year-old Christie Holt in late July.

Garvin was charged with battery by means of a deadly weapon and battery resulting in serious bodily injury for a stabbing at a Circle K on Shadeland Avenue on December 26, 2020. Documents said he was irritated the victim was in the bathroom too long.

Garvin’s initial bond was set at $30,000, but Judge Shatrese Flowers lowered it to $1,500 with GPS monitoring. The state objected to lowering the bond, and we are still working on discovering why it objected.

Garvin’s public defender reached out to The Bail Project to pay for Garvin’s release. The program provided this statement:

We received a referral for bail assistance from Mr. Garvin’s public defender in January after the court lowered his bail from $30k to $1.500 and imposed GPS monitoring as a condition of release. As we do with all referrals, we interviewed Mr Garvin to gather information about his legal history, his ability to return to court, and to identify any unmet needs. He had a stable place to live with family and a plan to return to court to resolve his case.

Generally speaking, we take several factors into consideration, including the types of needs the person might have and whether we can connect them to adequate services. In this case, the bail reduction was a key factor in the decision as it indicated that the court wanted to facilitate his release.

David Gaspar, national director of operations at The Bail Project

We reached out to the Marion County courts and Garvin’s public defender. The Marion County Public Defender’s Office said they have no comment. The presiding judge said they would not comment on a pending case or another judge’s decision.

Seven months later, Garvin allegedly murdered his longtime girlfriend, Holt. Court records detail a gruesome murder.

The Bail Project has received at least $150,000 over the last two years from taxpayers through the Violent Crime Prevention Grants Program. The money is allocated annually by the Indianapolis City-County Council and managed by the Central Indiana Community Foundation.

After being stabbed to death at the Always Inn on East 21st Street last month, Holt was left to decompose for nearly a week. Records say police were called to the hotel on July 30 before 5 a.m. on a report of a suspicious person pulling a sheet “with something heavy” into a wooded area.

Officers found Holt’s body wrapped in the sheet. The motel manager told police Holt and Garvin had been living in the hotel since December of 2020.

Surveillance video showed a man dragging the heavy sheet, and at one point, a human arm fell out and the man quickly placed it back into the sheet, documents say.

Court records show when officers arrived, they found Garvin had cut off his GPS monitor and appeared ready to flee. They also state Garvin later went into detail about what and why the incident occurred.

Holt’s loved ones said they feared Garvin would fatally hurt her after years of abuse by him.

“When I say abuse, it wasn’t just like he punched her one time,” said her cousin, Felicia Myers. “He beat her until he felt that he was done.”

The Marion Superior Court Probation Department, charged with monitoring those on pre-trial release, said people on pre-trial GPS monitoring have “unrestricted movements” aside from any places ordered by the court to stay away from or those in a protective order.

The department said Garvin was placed on GPS monitoring on January 22 and was to have no contact near the noted individuals in the protective order and to maintain the operation of the device at all times. We are still working to learn whether Holt was a person he was ordered to stay away from.

“If they would have left him in there, he wouldn’t have killed her. He wouldn’t have had a chance because he’d be locked up,” said Lisa Fox, Holt’s biological mother. “So, I blame a lot on the system right now. They let Christie down.”

Holt’s family say changes are needed for pre-trial monitoring.

“It makes you wonder, when is there going to be change?” said Patty Myers, Christie’s aunt. “When is there going to be a time that they start realizing something has to be done? Because what’s going to happen is women are going to keep being afraid to talk. They’re going to be afraid to come forward.”

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