Man sentenced to 40 years for torturing wife - Dallas News |

Man sentenced to 40 years for torturing wife

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Josh Holden Josh Holden

Van Zandt County investigators called it one of the worst cases of spousal abuse they'd seen and on Thursday the defendant took a plea deal that could keep him in prison until 2053.

Josh Holden walked into the Van Zandt County courthouse Thursday morning. He entered a guilty plea and accepted a 40-year prison sentence for beating and torturing his 27-year-old wife and the mother of his three daughters.

Lisa Holden, who had escaped their home and hid in the woods with her two youngest children for two days, spoke publicly about the incident in June. She showed FOX 4 her injuries and scars. She said Josh cracked her skull with a baseball bat, whipped her with jumper cables, stabbed her in the thigh and shot her in the legs with a pellet gun.

She had powerful words in court on Thursday for the man she called a monster.

"How does it feel to be powerless? To be at the mercy of someone else? Just think in prison, you're at the mercy of all the other inmates. You will just be a fish in a tank full of hungry sharks. I wonder how a pathetic coward like you will survive," she said.

Josh mostly rolled his eyes at her words until she started talking about their daughters and that seemed to bother him a little bit.

"I hope you realize what today is, and I hope it burns you inside to know that I will celebrate with her, but you don't … never again. And she can finally have a happy birthday because the evil is out of her life," Lisa said.

She appeared empowered as she spoke in the silent courtroom.

"Just knowing you're finally gone makes me the happiest woman in the world. The scars that I bear remind me that no matter how hard you tried to knock me down I got back up. I see them as a reminder that I am stronger than you, and as a reminder that I am not a prisoner. You are," she said.

Josh will be eligible for parole after 20 years.

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