Woman's guilty plea resolves need for second trial in 2009 Brevard murder

Transylvania District Attorney Greg Newman announces that the 2009 murder of Richard Holden has been resolved by a guilty plea from the accused, Amber Dalton.

Dalton appeared before Superior Court Judge Alan Thornburg in Brevard last week and received a sentence of 261 months (nearly 22 years) on charges of second-degree murder, burglary, and assault with a deadly weapon causing serious injury.

The incidents involved occurred on August 21, 2009, when Dalton awakened both Richard Holden and his longtime companion Naomi Barker in the early morning hours at their Brevard apartment. Dalton lived in the same building.

Once inside, she attacked them both, leaving Holden dead and Barker seriously injured.

Dalton then left the apartment and eventually hailed a ride from an off-duty EMS worker.

In 2009, Dalton was indicted for first-degree murder, first-degree burglary and assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill and inflict serious bodily injury.

In April 2014, a Transylvania County jury convicted her on all charges.

She was given a life sentence in prison, but her conviction was reversed by the N.C. Court of Appeals in September 2015. The N.C. Supreme Court affirmed that ruling in December, 2016.

“The guilty plea resolves all legal issues raised by the Court of Appeals and obviates the need for a second jury trial,” said District Attorney Greg Newman.