Saginaw teen pleads guilty, receives life sentence in murder of girl

FORT WORTH — A Saginaw teen has pleaded guilty to the death of 6-year-old Alanna Gallagher, whose body was found wrapped in a tarp and dumped on a residential street on July 1, 2013.

Tyler Holder, 18, received a life sentence in a plea agreement made Thursday with the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office.

"Because Holder was 17 when he committed the offense of capital murder, prosecutors were left without a sentencing option for a capital murder conviction," read a statement from the District Attorney's Office. "Rather than navigate unchartered waters, which would delay justice, it was decided to proceed on the murder charge."

The teen also received a 40-year sentence in the shooting of an Arlington police officer and 20 years on an arson charge.

As part of the plea deal, Holder agreed to serve the sentences consecutively.

"This means Holder will have to finish serving his time or be granted parole on the murder and arson charge before he begins serving his time on the attempted capital murder charge," read the statement from the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office.

A medical examiner ruled Gallagher was sexually assaulted. Authorities said Holder then taped a plastic bag over the young girl's head and suffocated her.

Several weeks after the murder as police continued their investigation, a car parked outside the Gallagher family home was set on fire. A memorial for the young girl was also set ablaze.

Authorities eventually linked Holder to the crimes through DNA taken from the murder crime scene.

On July 23, 2013, officers served a warrant at Holder's home. Det. Charles Lodatto was shot in the groin by Holder before officers returned fire, hitting the teen. Both Lodatto and Holder survived.


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