ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Duluth homicide case pushed back to November

A Duluth homicide suspect appeared in court Monday for the first time since his arraignment earlier this month. It probably will be several months before he's back. William James Holisky II, who is accused of fatally stabbing Lisa Jean Isham in t...

1904936+William James Holisky new mug.jpg
William Holisky

A Duluth homicide suspect appeared in court Monday for the first time since his arraignment earlier this month.

It probably will be several months before he's back.

William James Holisky II, who is accused of fatally stabbing Lisa Jean Isham in the Lincoln Park neighborhood in May, made a brief appearance in State District Court in Duluth.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys met in chambers with 6th Judicial District Judge Mark Munger before the hearing. When they emerged and went on the record, Munger scheduled a review hearing for Nov. 18.

Munger said the 2½-month postponement would give attorneys time to work through what has been described as a "voluminous" discovery process. In addition to police reports and forensic test results, the evidence includes more than 50 videos collected by law enforcement.

ADVERTISEMENT

Defense attorneys must go over all of those materials with Holisky before deciding whether to initiate any evidentiary or constitutional challenges.

Steven Bergeson of the State Public Defender Trial Team, which specializes in high-profile cases that involve forensic evidence, is assisting local public defender Jeremy Downs on the defense team.

"We just got all of the evidence," Bergeson said after the hearing. "We're still trying to work through it all."

The case is being prosecuted by two assistant St. Louis County attorneys, Jessica Fralich and Vicky Wanta. They declined to comment on the case.

Holisky, 63, was charged by warrant in late July with Isham's death. The criminal complaint alleges that he stabbed the 52-year-old Isham multiple times with a knife at her home in mid-May.

Isham's body was not discovered until about two weeks after her death. Investigators initially suspected Holisky, but it was not until DNA tests came back several months later that he was formally charged.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension conducted a forensic test on a knife that was discovered in Isham's upper torso. While 99.98 percent of the general population could be excluded from the DNA sample, Holisky could not.

Holisky remains jailed on $500,000 bail.

Related Topics: CRIME
Tom Olsen has covered crime and courts for the Duluth News Tribune since 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth and a lifelong resident of the city. Readers can contact Olsen at 218-723-5333 or tolsen@duluthnews.com.
What To Read Next
The system crashed earlier this month, grounding flights across the U.S.