Prince William County’s top prosecutor said he hasn’t yet decided whether to seek the death penalty in Wednesday night’s shooting death of a retired ATF agent.
Gregory Lee Holley Sr., 55, was walking in the 3700 block of Wertz Drive off Cardinal Drive about 9:40 p.m. when he was confronted by a robber, who shot him and took property before running away, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.
Holley, a respected leader at New Life Anointed Ministries, Inc., a non-denominational church in Woodbridge, died at the scene. His dog ran home and was not hurt.
Witnesses gave first-arriving officers a description of the shooter. Meanwhile, off-duty Prince William police Lt. Carlos Robles was in the area and encountered the man on Cardinal Drive.
Robles detained the suspect after a brief struggle.
Perok said the man “was found to have some personal property belonging to the victim on his person at the time of the arrest.”
Aric Alexander Smith, 25, of 3755 Bogner Drive in Woodbridge, is charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery and use of a firearm in commission of a felony, Perok said. He was held without bond at the Prince William-Manassas regional jail.
The gun used had been stolen from a vehicle in Montclair on Feb. 15, Perok said.
In Virginia, murder in the commission of a robbery is considered a capital offense punishable by the death penalty. But Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert said his office hasn’t yet upgraded the charges.
"We'll make that determination at a later time," he said.
Thursday, those who know Holley remembered him as a man devoted to his family and to God.
Holley was retired from the military and from the ATF and for the past seven years served as the CFO of New Life Anointed Ministries International, a non-denominational worship center based in Woodbridge, said Bishop Eugene Reeves, founder of the worship center.
"Greg Holley was probably the most outstanding example of a father and a family man I've ever met," said Reeves.
Holley is survived by his wife and four adult sons, the youngest of whom is in college, Reeves said.
Reeves said Holley will be remembered by those at New Life Anointed Ministries for his desire to help youth and for his joyful laugh.
"When he started laughing, everyone in the office would start laughing," Reeves said. "You'd be doing nothing but laughing at his laugh."
Reeves said Holley will be greatly missed by his family and the community.
"Basically, Greg Holley was a true family man. He was a man who loved life and loved people. Whether he was working for the military or the government, he left always left a mark. Greg Holley was a great man," he said.
Holley’s death is the third homicide of the year in Prince William County.