Woman in state prison for attack on elderly woman gets more federal time

Posted Oct. 03, 2011, at 3:50 p.m.
Last modified Oct. 03, 2011, at 5:48 p.m.
Jodi Lynn Holmes
Penobscot County Jail
Jodi Lynn Holmes

BANGOR, Maine — A woman serving six years in state prison for trying to suffocate an elderly female resident at a Bangor nursing home in February was sentenced Monday to an additional year and a half in federal prison.

Jodi Lynn Holmes, 49, of Bangor was on federal probation earlier this year because of her conviction in 2008 for writing and mailing bomb threats that shut down three area schools when she went into the victim’s room at the Bangor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Holmes has suffered from mental illness for years, according to information filed in state and federal court. In sentencing Holmes on Monday, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock said the defendant’s mental health problems had moved from illness into criminal activity.

“You’ve brought yourself beyond the line of needing mental health treatment to an act of violence where the course of action must be the protection of others,” the judge said. “My most important duty is to protect the public from people like you.”

Woodcock sentenced Holmes in February 2008 to two years in federal prison and three years of supervised release for writing the threatening letters in March 2007. Holmes signed them “Radar” and sent them to Hampden Academy, Bangor Christian Schools and John Bapst Memorial High School.

She was released from prison in February 2009 but was back before Woodcock in June of that year for violating her supervised release. The judge sentenced her to six months in federal prison for assaulting a police officer and threatening to release chlorine gas at the Bangor Mall.

Holmes was arrested on Feb. 7, 2011, for assaulting a 97-year-old woman at the nursing home on Texas Avenue. She pleaded guilty on June 24 at the Penobscot Judicial Center to aggravated assault, a state crime. She admitted that about 1:15 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 6, she went to the room of the victim, whom she did not know, and found the woman alone.

By pleading guilty, Holmes admitted that she removed the elderly woman’s glasses, straddled her legs to hold her down as the woman sat in her wheelchair, then took the pillow off a roommate’s bed and pushed it tightly against the victim’s face and jaws.

A staff member delivering meals found the elderly woman “slumped in her wheelchair and she looked very pale and ashy,” a Bangor police affidavit said. The victim, who cannot hear and speaks only softly, “said she was terrified and could not breathe at all.”

Holmes told Woodcock on Monday that she never wanted to be before him again and desired “to conform to legal conduct.”

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