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Spanaway man allegedly tried to kill himself after fatally shooting wife, daughter

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on Aug. 30, 2012 at 1:00 pm with 13 Comments »
August 30, 2012 1:12 pm

Dean Holmes told investigators he held the same gun to his head he used to kill his wife and daughter, but could not bring himself to pull the trigger.

Instead, he tried to scrub his family’s blood from his clothes. He watched television. He spent hours sitting on Ruston Way staring at Puget Sound. Then he drove to the Pierce County Jail to confess.

Today, Pierce County prosecutors charged the 40-year-old Spanaway house painter with two counts of first-degree aggravated murder with an enhancement for using a firearm. Holmes is set to be arraigned this afternoon.

If convicted, Holmes faces life without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.

Charging papers indicate Holmes was desperate to keep his wife, 41-year-old Kristi Holmes, from discovering he had lied about their dire financial situation because he didn’t want her to leave him again.

He told investigators he shot his wife four times while she slept because “he could not bear to have her again discover his many deceptions, believing she would leave him.”

Then Holmes allegedly drove their 11-year-old daughter Violet around town and shot her while she slept in the backseat.

According to court documents:

Kristi Holmes left her husband of 12 years in December after finding out he had been spending beyond his means and lying to her about it. Although she was angry that he deceived her and still owed the state a significant amount of money for businesses taxes, she returned home a few months later.

Holmes continued lying to his wife, and promised to move them into a more affordable home.

He packed the family’s belongings into boxes and prepared to move Tuesday. Except, there was no new home to move into.

“Holmes said even that was an elaborate ruse on his part,” documents state.

Fearful of what Kristi Holmes would say when she found out he’d lied again, Holmes shot her four times with a .38 caliber revolver he kept in a dresser drawer beside their bed as she slept about 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Then he went into the living room where his daughter Violet and a friend were having a sleepover. A fan apparently obscured the sound of gunshots because both girls were still asleep.

Holmes re-loaded the revolver and threw the empty casings in the garbage. He woke the girls up, put them in his car and took his daughter’s friend home to Auburn.

As they neared their home in the 15500 block of 20th Ave. Ct. E., Holmes pulled over, rolled down the backseat window and got out of the car. Then he shot his daughter multiple times.

“Holmes reasoned his daughter would be unable to cope with her mother’s death and her father’s imprisonment, concluding that dying was somehow in her best interest,” according to charging papers.

Holmes next went to a fast food restaurant and ordered food with Violet’s body lying in the backseat.

When he arrived home, Holmes placed his daughter’s body next to his wife’s body in the bed of the master bedroom and contemplated suicide.

Since he couldn’t pull the trigger again, he went to tell authorities what he had done.

Leave a comment Comments → 13
  1. gonefishin69690 says:


  2. I hope he hangs himself in jail before we spend too much on court costs. He’s a Puke in my eyes. Glad he’s out of my neighborhood. God bless those two he killed. And those who suffer their death.

  3. Tracianne says:

    He said he couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger but she sure found the courage to put the gun to his wife and daughters head. How selfish can one be. If he was in such financial trouble he didn’t have to spend 40 cents on two bullets when he could have spent only 20 cents on one for himself.

  4. What a kitty cat. Couldn’t even pull the trigger when it mattered most.

  5. alindasue says:

    My thought are with Violet’s friend…

  6. hilltopbarber says:

    Weak,loser,coward are just a few words that come to mind. Hope he finds Christ in prison!

  7. Too sad. Heaven has a couple of new angels.

  8. This is a very hard to go through from someone who knew them and she worked with me as a rep. in a company. Kristi was fun, worked hard and lived for her daughters. Did many things,,,and for him to do this.
    What a coward,,,,,this was something that could of been worked out, if she left, oh well, I agree for 20 cents he should of used the bullet on himself. He sure did not have a problem using several on his beloved wife or daughter. May they rest in peace and in each others arms.

  9. itwasntmethistime says:

    This madness has to stop. Spend, spend, spend, and it’s all on things people really don’t need. Our government has brainwashed people into thinking self worth is measured by how many toys you have. It’s driving people crazy.

  10. You can all talk as much crap about this as you want. The truth of the matter is, none of you know dean. Im in no way condoning what he did, but saying he should hang himslef and blahblah? He’ll get what he deserves. Dean was a nice guy. He was giving and loving. He loved his daughter. sometimes stuff happens that you cant control how crazy it makes you. He did something wrong. My heart is with the family. I know the girl who was spending the night. Her mom is a best friend of mine. Lets not talk about the negative and send your love to them.

  11. The little girl spending the night was family. She was there all the time. this poor family needs as mich support as they can. If you go to heritage bank you can donate go the kristi and violet holmes fund to help kristis oldest daughter…lets not all forget how tragic it would be to be present during the murder of a family member let alone two members. Send your thoughts and love to the parents, siblings, children, and the cousin present and her family. The need all they can get.

  12. serendipity says:

    OMG! OMG! I don’t know what else to say. I am one of the lucky ones I think. I hope. I hope my sociopath never comes after me.

    I got out 90 days ago. I left Tacoma. OMG!

  13. Rational says:

    “God bless…” What?
    Where the was “God” before, and during, all the killing?
    Taking a nap? Taking a dump? Smiling and applauding, apparently for all the evidence to the contrary.
    Go ahead and criticize me, a man who “accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior in 1969″ and to this day has never seen objective evidence of a “God” other than the claptrap that man has invented.
    I’m sure all you “Christian” people will be praying for me in my sinful state, but I’d really rather that someone would do something useful and constructive with their time.

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