More than a year after the untimely death of 18-year-old Joshua Mudd, of Caneyville, his accused murderer appears ready to plead guilty to a number of charges related to the February 25, 2012 incident that took the young man’s life.
Steven Holland, a 48-year-old from Dyersburg, TN, is being charged with murder, assault in the first degree, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and reckless driving, according to Commonwealth’s Attorney David Williams.
Holland was present in court on Tuesday, March 19, with public defender Leilani Krashin representing him.
As his case was called by Judge Robert Miller, Williams motioned for the Mudd family to come forward. Nearly a dozen friends and family members were seated in the front of the room, separated from the judge only by the man who is accused of killing their loved one.
Krashin requested on behalf of Holland that his jury trial, which is set for next month, be cancelled.
“He desires to plead guilty,” she told the judge, adding that “we can save everybody some pain” by working out a plea agreement instead.
Krashin added that her client is “very remorseful,” and that he recognizes the Mudd family “has been devastated.”
Miller did not cancel the trial which is scheduled for April 8 at 9 a.m., though Williams said on Friday that his office is attempting to work out an agreement with Holland in the meantime.
“The case is complicated,” Williams said. He conceded that Holland “wants to plead guilty,” but said that he does not know whether they will be able to come to a mutually acceptable amount of time to be served.
“We want him to serve at least ten years,” Williams said.
“It’s not a murder charge in the classic sense,” Williams explained of the case against Holland, “it’s like using a dangerous instrument, which was a vehicle, and striking someone with it.”
The deadly incident occurred at just before 9:30 a.m. on a Saturday in late February of last year at the 93 mile marker on the Western Kentucky Parkway.
Holland, according to Kentucky State Police, was eastbound on the parkway in a rented U-Haul van. Mudd and his father, 47-year-old Ricky L. Mudd, were pulled off of the parkway in the eastbound emergency lane refueling an Oldsmobile.
“[Josh’s] mom worked in Morgantown and got off late,” Williams explained, “She ran out of gas and her husband and son went to refuel the car the next morning.”
The KSP news release which followed the incident said Holland’s vehicle approached the men and “veered into to the right into the emergency lane and struck the two men and sideswiped the Oldsmobile.” It also sideswiped the vehicle the Mudds had driven to the scene before continuing on several hundred feet and coming to a final rest in the passing lane on the eastbound side of the parkway.
Mudd was pronounced dead at the scene and his father was airlifted from the scene to University of Louisville Hospital where he was listed in critical condition.Williams said Ricky Mudd was in a coma for months following the incident and is no longer able to work as a result.
Holland and the two passengers in his vehicle were uninjured, according to the KSP release.
Williams said Holland is alleged to have been under the influence of both painkillers and cocaine when his van hit and killed Mudd. Holland, who is a diabetic, also had high blood sugar at the time of the accident and Williams said the case may be further complicated by the fact that sometimes the symptoms of this can mimic intoxication.
Following the incident, Holland was transported to Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center briefly before being arrested and lodged in the Grayson County Detention Center where he has remained for more than a year awaiting trial and sentencing.