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Jersey Bridgeman murder suspect, Zachary Holly, attacked in jail

This booking photo provided by the Benton County Sheriff's office shows Zachary Dwayne Holly, who was booked on Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, on charges of residential burglary, kidnapping and capital murder in the Nov. 20 death of 6-year-old Jersey Bridgeman. Jersey was reported missing the morning of Nov. 20, and her body was found during a search in an abandoned house two doors from her home in Bentonville, Ark. (AP Photo/Benton County Sheriff's office) Uncredited

Zachary Holly
AP Photo/Benton County Sheriff's office

(CBS/AP) BENTONVILLE, Ark. - Authorities in northwest Arkansas said a fellow inmate attacked accused murderer Zachary Holly on Tuesday, a day before Holly was expected in court for the slaying of 6-year-old Jersey Bridgeman.

Pictures: Arkansas girl allegedly slain by neighbor

Holly, 28, was arrested Monday on capital murder, kidnapping and residential burglary charges in Jersey's death. He was due in court later Wednesday, when a judge was expected to assign him a public defender.

Holly was attacked in Benton County Jail, where an inmate managed to slip into his cell while helping hand out fresh clothes and towels, jail Capt. Chris Sparks said. He said Holly wasn't seriously injured. The inmate, who was in jail on a parole violation, could face additional charges.

"Obviously this case has gotten a lot of exposure in the media and all the inmates know what he's in for," Sparks said. "We're going to do our best to try and keep him safe, just like we do every other inmate."

Jersey received something of a fresh start when she moved in with her mother and began kindergarten this fall, a year after her father and stepmother were arrested for chaining her to a dresser. Then last week, searchers found her body in a vacant home located two doors down from her mother's house.

"The fact that she went through what she went through when she was 5 ... and then this happens. She had such a rough life," said Chelsea Jouett, a family acquaintance.

Jersey was found during a Nov. 20 search just minutes after she was reported missing, police said. Investigators believe she was killed earlier that day, but no further details were given how she was killed or what the motive may have been.

The family of Amanda Holly, Zachary's wife, issued a statement through a lawyer Wednesday asking for privacy.

"Jersey was a very sweet girl who our children and grandchildren considered their best friend. Because of this, we ask for privacy. The children in our family are not dealing well with the loss of their friend," the family said.

Jersey's mother, DesaRae Bridgeman, and other relatives laid her to rest Tuesday in a cemetery less than a mile from her home. The family has requested privacy.

The girl's father, David Bridgeman, and stepmother, Jana Bridgeman, were arrested last year for chaining her to a dresser in their home in the nearby town of Rogers. David Bridgeman told investigators that he restrained the girl to keep her from getting into medication and other things in the house. They both pleaded guilty in June to charges of false imprisonment, permitting the abuse of a minor and endangering the welfare of a minor.

More on CrimesiderNov. 27, 2012 - Jersey Bridgeman Case: Zachary Holly, Ark. man, arrested in death of 6-year-old abused girl, police say

  • Crimesider Staff

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