High Court Upholds Death Sentence For Arkansas Prisoner

Sep 17, 2015

Robert Holland
Credit Arkansas Dept. of Correction

The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of an inmate convicted of killing his cellmate at a maximum security prison.

Robert Holland was convicted of capital murder in the 2012 strangulation of Matthew Scheile. According to court records, Holland had refused to have a cellmate but agreed to accept Scheile in his cell on Dec. 7, 2012. That same night, Scheile was found dead in the cell they shared at the Cummins unit.

Holland, who was already serving a life sentence for another capital murder conviction, appealed. Among other issues, he challenged prosecutors' decision to remove three black potential jurors from the jury pool.

In an opinion Thursday, the Supreme Court found that prosecutors had reasons other than race in striking the jurors, and it upheld Holland's conviction.