Judge finds man guilty in the 1998 kidnapping, rape and murder of 13-year-old Monterey County girl

SALINAS — Judge Pamela Butler on Friday found Charles Holifield guilty of kidnapping, raping and killing Christina Williams, more than 21 years after the 13-year-old disappeared while walking her dog in a military neighborhood in Seaside.

“The defendant will spend the rest of his life in prison with no relief,” Butler said to the courtroom after sentencing Holifield to life in prison without the possibility of parole. She said the evidence showed the death of the girl was clearly a homicide and “the DNA evidence is overwhelmingly convincing and persuasive.”

Holifield was a suspect early in the investigation and was interviewed repeatedly. Witnesses testified Holifield grew up in Fort Ord and knew the area well. He would go fishing in a pond not far from where Christine Williams was kidnapped. While Holifield denied having any involvement in the disappearance and death of the girl, he could not provide an alibi. A year after the crime, his girlfriend’s mother provided an alibi that Holifield was at her home watching TV the night of the crime. His girlfriend later provided that same alibi and gave it during the trial, though she recanted in 2011 saying she only provided it before out of fear of Holifield.

Christina Williams’ father, Michael, sat in on the trial with his wife, Alice. He said they think about Christina and miss her every day. Williams said to reporters after the verdict was read that he was expecting a guilty verdict.

“What’s really nice is the fact that it’s over,” he […]

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