Michael Everidge, 18, was indicted on charges of felony and malice murder in connection with the Nov. 8, 2011, death of 19-year-old Jade Holder at the YDC campus on Mike Padgett Highway. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter in exchange for prosecutors dropping a second charge of felony murder.
Superior Court Judge Daniel Craig delivered the pre-negotiated sentence after listening to testimony from Assistant District Attorney Keith Johnson and Everidge’s family. Holder’s family chose not to make the trip from Sylvester, Ga., to Augusta because it “brought back painful memories,” according to court testimony.
Johnson said Holder and Everidge bumped into each other in the YDC’s Unit 43, words were exchanged and the two agreed to fight it out in Holder’s room.
Two other juveniles witnessed the fight and told the Georgia Bureau of Investigations that Holder appeared to be winning at first, then put his arms up to signal the fight was over. Everidge picked up Holder and threw him to the concrete floor. Holder was unable to brace himself and hit his head on the floor, which likely led to the injury that caused his death, Johnson said.
While Holder was still semiconscious, Everidge punched him three more times and kicked him in the head. The witnesses intervened and told Everidge he had taken the fight “too far,” Johnson said.
An autopsy determined that Holder died from blunt force trauma and liver damage caused by a lack of oxygen.
Five members of Everidge’s family spoke on his behalf and each apologized to the Holder family. Everidge also apologized, stating, “it was never my intention for this to happen.”