April and Michael Holton were found dead in their home from an apparent murder-suicide — American Monster on Investigation Discovery takes a closer look at the case.
On the night of September 11, 2016, a deputy with the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a home in Eclectic, Alabama, after receiving a 911 call from Michael claiming his son, Jesse “Madison” Holton, then 17, threw a party and trashed his house while he was at work.
When the officer met with Michael and his wife, who were in the middle of a divorce, at the home, he noticed that Madison had been handcuffed behind his back by his father as a form of discipline.
They then made arrangements to take Madison to the police station the following day to discuss the party, where drugs were involved.
Eleven minutes after the officer left, police received a 911 call from a neighbor reporting a shooting at the Holton’s home.
When police arrived, they found Michael and April on the floor with a gun between them.
Michael was pronounced dead at the scene. April was unconscious, but she was still breathing.
Emergency first responders transported April to an area hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries several days later.
Madison immediately became a suspect in the case as he was the only one in the home at the time of the shooting. However, he denied killing his parents.
He said after the officer left their home, April and Michael got into an argument. His father then grabbed a gun and shot his wife before turning the gun on himself.
Detectives weren’t buying his story. They believed he removed his handcuffs and committed the double murder and put them back before running 200 feet to a neighbor’s house.
Madison was arrested and charged as an adult with first-degree murder in both his parents’ death.
He spent one year and three months in the Elmore County Jail, missing his senior year at Elmore County High School, before his charges were dropped and he was released on bond in December 2017.
Evidence suggested that Michael shot and killed his wife before shooting himself in the back of the head. He was ambidextrous and would have been able to shoot himself from that angle.
DNA and possibly fingerprints found at the scene did not match Madison. And although there was blood splatter, investigators said none of it was found on Madison.
Although the evidence strongly suggests that April and Michael were killed in a murder-suicide, the case remains open.
American Monster — Two Families, airs at 8/7c on Investigation Discovery.