An Indiana man out on bail and wearing a GPS ankle monitor for stabbing a customer at a Circle K convenience store where he worked has pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend 51 times and trying to dismember her after he told investigators she made fun of him in texts with a man she was sleeping with.
Marcus Garvin, 33, pleaded guilty last Friday — days before his jury trial was set to begin — to one count of murder in the death of Christie Holt, 30. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison.
It all went down on July 24, 2021, at the Always Inn outside Indianapolis, where the couple had lived for nearly a year.
‘She was just gurgling’
Garvin stabbed Holt that day after he went through her cellphone and discovered texts between her and a man she was sleeping with. In the texts, the two had been making fun of Garvin for not having a job “and/or going anywhere in life,” he told detectives after his arrest, according to an affidavit.
Garvin woke Holt up and confronted her with what he had discovered, and she denied it.
“That made him mad,” the affidavit said, citing Garvin’s interview with police. “He grabbed a small knife and stabbed the side of her neck two times.”
“Stop, Marcus! It wasn’t like that!” Holt said to Garvin, according to the affidavit.
“He said she didn’t really try to call for help because she couldn’t,” the affidavit said. “That’s why he went for the neck; he thinks he maybe hit her vocal chords and she was just gurgling.”
After he began stabbing her, she got on top of him and grabbed his genitals, so he started swinging the knife around her neck area and stabbed repeatedly, court documents said.
Eventually, they fell to the floor. As Holt fought for her life, Garvin stabbed her numerous times in the neck and upper body. The affidavit said he thought he stabbed her at least 10, maybe 15 times.
An autopsy found 51 stab wounds to her head, neck, chest and thighs. He hit both the right and left jugular veins, which were fatal wounds. She had defensive wounds on both hands. The leg also appeared to have a cut around the lower part of it, as if someone had tried to cut it off, the document said.
Garvin told investigators it took about 30 minutes for Holt to die.
“When he stabbed Christie in the neck, the blood didn’t squirt and he was actually very surprised,” the document said. “The blood was just kind of like oozing out.”
A sickle knife, grocery cart and dolly
Following the July 24 attack, Garvin spent six days trying to figure out how to dispose of the remains, the affidavit states.
After he killed her, he told police he didn’t know what to do. First, he dragged her body to the bathtub and turned the shower on, hoping to keep the smell down. Then he tried to dismember the body in the bathtub using a small sickle knife but couldn’t cut through the bone. Garvin also tried to move the body with a grocery cart but couldn’t get the body into it.
Garvin even brought a dolly home from work but still couldn’t move her body, so he placed Holt in a motel sheet and comforter and dragged it across the parking lot to a creek, the affidavit said.
A motel desk clerk spotted him and called the police on July 30, 2021, at 4:48 a.m., reporting a suspicious person pulling a sheet with something heavy near the wooded area next to the motel in the morning.
On his way back, Garvin passed the employee at the front desk back to room 210. He was wearing a black hoodie, black pants, and black shoes. His shoes and the bottoms of his pant legs were wet. Sweat dripped from his face.
After a standoff, a SWAT team found Garvin — fully dressed and wearing a backpack — in the bathroom of room 210 at 8:55 a.m. and took him into custody.
The room smelled of human decomposition, authorities said. Police found a red dolly by the front door, a grocery cart, a trash can, a cut-off GPS monitoring device on the floor under the table, and no sheets or bedding on the bed. The floor was sticky. Two knives were on the floor by the bathtub.
A detective reviewed surveillance video showing him struggling at times to drag the body in the sheet from the entrance of room 210, across the parking lot and behind the main building near a tree line. An arm fell out of the sheet at one point, which he quickly tucked back in.
‘She deserved it’
In an interview with homicide detectives, Garvin initially denied knowing about Holt’s death. He told detectives he and Holt argued when she got off work on Friday, July 23, 2021, and he found a conversation on social media between Holt and her former boyfriend. He said Holt broke up with him and left.
After a brief break from interrogation, investigators returned to speak with Garvin again and he denied being involved, even after investigators confronted him with the facts — he and the motel room smelled of human decomposition, he was seen in surveillance video dragging her body from his room to a tree line where her body was found, and his GPS monitoring device captured his movements.
Garvin said he was asleep and was awakened by the SWAT team, who he thought was there because his GPS monitoring device ‘band’ battery died. He cut the GPS monitoring device off in the motel room.
He said the knives in the motel room were by the tub because he was doing his dishes in the bathtub. He told detectives Holt got rid of the bedding a long time ago.
After investigators showed Garvin the surveillance video, he admitted he dragged her body in the sheets and comforter from his room. He said he misses her, still loves her, and that he was sorry but had no other options, the document said.
“When asked how he felt, he said that he was sorry, however he wanted to be honest, she deserved it,” the affidavit said.
‘Damn, that was satisfying’
Garvin killed Holt while he was on pretrial release with GPS monitoring following his Dec. 26, 2020, arrest for battery by means of a deadly weapon, authorities said.
He stabbed a customer in the back three times at Circle K while working there as a cashier, police said. He became irritated when the customer took too long in a restroom, Fox59 reported.
Store surveillance video showed him following the customer out of the store and stabbing him in the back. After the stabbing, Garvin returned to the cash register, threw the knife onto the counter, and said, “Damn, that was satisfying,” the affidavit said.
He resumed checking out other customers until officers arrived and took him into custody. When a detective assigned to the case interviewed him, he admitted to the stabbing, the document said.
Garvin’s bail was lowered from $30,000 to $1,500, paid for by the nonprofit Bail Project, which “strives for a more perfect justice system” by providing free bail assistance to those in need.
In a report, the Bail Project said the decision was partly due to the judge’s lowering of the bond and interviews with Garvin’s mother and Holt, who vouched for Garvin, saying she didn’t believe he would be a danger to himself or others if released, Fox59 reported.
Holt’s mother, Lisa Fox, said then she blamed the system.
“If they would have left him in there, he wouldn’t have killed her, he wouldn’t have had a chance because he’d be locked up,” she said, the station reported. “So, I blame a lot on the system right now. They let Christie down.”
On the morning of her murder, Holt herself feared Garvin would kill her.
“Honestly, I don’t think I will wake up one day,” Holt told a motel employee, identified in the affidavit as A.T.
When A.T. offered to call the police, Holt declined, saying, “If they get him, I’m scared he’s gonna come back and get me; he’s gonna kill me.”
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]