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Man gets 75 years in brutal attack of Denison mother

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 6:41 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 3, 2021 at 4:06 PM CST
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - 75 years in prison.

That’s the sentence Zachary Jolliff received Friday afternoon after the jury found him guilty of a violent felony on Thursday.

“Just the not knowing, my stomach felt like it was in my throat just because he does not deserve to be walking the streets where he can hurt somebody else,” Victim Ariel Holley said.

In the early hours of New Year’s Day 2020, Ariel Holley was asleep at home with her four children, when she was jolted awake by Zackary Joliff beating her.

The assault wound continued for hours, until she drifted back into consciousness to find him gone.

“The felonies other than felony theft were attempted murder or aggravated assault or attempted aggravated assault and the jury found that he used his hands as a deadly weapon,” Assistant District Attorney Don Hoover said.

The trial started Monday and lasted 4 days before a jury found him guilty of burglary of a habitation with intent to commit murder or aggravated assault, a first degree felony.

Jolliff was sentenced to 75 years in prison.

“It’s like having to talk about a nightmare that you’ve gone through, you have to relive the worst day of your life,” Holley said.

“Appreciative, amazed, impressed by the courage that they find within themselves to come in here and convict these people and Ariel Holley is no exception to that,” Hoover said.

Prosecutors said a blood stain on Holley’s shirt had Joliff’s DNA, some of Holley’s hair was found on his shirt and one of Joliff’s hairs was found in Holley’s mouth.

Investigators even found buttons missing from Joliff’s shirt in Holley’s bathroom, and a missing lightbulb from Holley’s porch with Joliff’s fingerprint on it.

“Very scary case, the randomness of this case, the rage, cowardness involved and I’m proud of the jury that handled this case,” Hoover said.

Jolliff will have to serve at least 30 before he can even talk about parole.

“I feel validated like my fiance’s mother said I went from being the victim to the victor and our justice center has done that,” Holley said.

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