March 7, 2013

Convicted murderer Holland fails to appear at wrongful death hearing

By Scott Dolan
Staff Writer

ALFRED — Convicted murderer Rory Holland failed to appear Thursday for the final hearing in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed against him by the mother of the two young men he fatally shot in Biddeford in 2009.

click image to enlarge

Tammy Cole becomes emotional while talking about the death of her sons Derek and Gage Greene during a damages hearing in civil court at York County Superior Court in Alfred on Thursday. Cole's sons were shot by Rory Holland in Biddeford in 2009 and Cole was seeking a wrongful death settlement for those murders.

Gregory Rec / Staff Photographer

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In this Feb. 7, 2011, photo, Rory Holland listens to his attorney during his sentencing hearing in York County Superior Court in Alfred. Holland is serving a life sentence in prison for the deaths of Derek and Gage Greene in 2009.

Gregory Rec / Staff Photographer

Holland was acting as his own attorney in the case.

Holland, who is serving a life sentence in prison for killing Derek and Gage Greene, would not get into a transport vehicle at the Maine State Prison in Warren to go to York County Superior Court and face his victims' mother, Tammy Cole, a sheriff's deputy informed the court.

Justice Andrew Horton issued an order Feb. 4, in anticipation of Thursday's hearing, telling Holland that he would not halt the hearing if Holland didn't show up. Holland delayed in boarding a transport vehicle for a hearing in January. That hearing was postponed to Thursday.

"If Defendant fails to board the transport vehicle promptly when requested to do so, the transport officers are not required to wait any longer, and may depart the prison grounds without the Defendant and return to Alfred," Horton said in his written order.

True to his word, the judge held the hearing Thursday without Holland or anyone representing him.

In December, Horton awarded Cole a summary judgment finding Holland liable for the wrongful deaths of her sons. In Thursday's hearing, Cole's attorney, Scott Giese, sought $3.25 million.

Giese argued that Derek Greene, 21, and Gage Greene, 19, were young, employed men who could have been expected to earn at least $1 million each, even at minimum wage, over the course of their lives.

In addition to lost wages, Giese said, Cole deserved $500,000 for each of her lost sons, for pain and suffering, and another $250,000 in punitive damages, capped by law.

Horton said after the hearing that he would take the case under advisement and issue a written ruling.

"I'm persuaded by the evidence that a very substantial award by the statute mentioned by you, Mr. Giese, is allowed," Horton said.

Cole and her lone surviving son, Shawn Carson, also spoke at the hearing.

Carson said he woke up in the middle of the night on June 30, 2009, after his brothers had been murdered, and saw that he had missed 32 calls on his phone. He then called his mother.

"She was hysterical. I couldn't understand what was going on," Carson said. "I just knew I had to get to the hospital because my brothers had just been shot."

He said he had grown close with his two younger brothers and wasn't ready for what happened.

"When we got there, it was already too late. I didn't even get a chance to say goodbye or anything," Carson said.

Carson said that after his brothers were killed, his mother became despondent. She overmedicated, and was depressed and grieving.

"I felt like our roles reversed, and I became a father to her instead of her being a mother to me," he said.

Cole said she, too, was awoken on the night of the murders by a phone call.

"It was one of my girlfriends telling me that I needed to get to the hospital in Biddeford as fast as I could because Gage and Derek had been shot," she said.

Cole said she distinctly remembers looking at the clock at 1:07 a.m. and feeling a "kick."

"I knew then that the boys had passed, and that's the time Derek had passed, 1:07 a.m.," she said.

Cole said she had worked 50 to 60 hours a week as a single mother, but now finds herself incapable of holding down a job.

She said she couldn't sleep Wednesday night because she was anxious about the prospect of speaking face-to-face with Holland at Thursday's hearing.

"I knew that the man who killed my boys was going to question me," Cole said. "He showed no remorse at all. He didn't care. He's heartless."

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

This story was corrected at 7:35 p.m. Thursday, March 7 to correct the name of the judge, Justice Andrew Horton.

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