James Mallory in court

James Mallory appears in Jefferson Circuit Court.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A Louisville judge has ordered DNA testing on bullet casings that came to light six years after James Mallory allegedly shot and killed 15-year-old Gregory Holt in his mother’s apartment.

The testing, Mallory’s attorneys believe, will show that any DNA found on the casings belong to a co-defendant, Anthony Hogan, who has agreed to testify against Mallory and has been allowed to remain out of jail.

The existence of the shells was only revealed days before Mallory’s death penalty trial was supposed to begin in 2018, when the Jefferson Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office found out an investigator and attorneys for Hogan had been in possession of the casings without disclosing them.

Hogan, who was also found in possession of the murder weapon, has claimed Mallory shot Holt and hid the casings in a tree stump. Mallory’s attorneys claim Hogan was the shooter.

Previously, testing on the casings was said to be inconclusive.

Now, however, Mallory’s attorneys say a recently received report from the Kentucky State police lab shows DNA results on one of the casings was “consistent with Hogan and exclude Mallory,” according to a motion filed by Eric Eckes, who represents Mallory.

On Monday, Eckes asked for, and was granted, permission for a new DNA swab of Hogan to be taken for additional testing.

If further testing conclusively shows Hogan’s DNA on the casings, then he has told "a whopper of a lie" in saying he saw Mallory hide the shells, Eckes told Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Susan Schultz Gibson on Monday.

Attorney Angela Elleman of the Louisville Public Defender’s office and an investigator working with her dug up the shell casings buried in a tree stump outside a bar in Louisville just months after the April 11, 2012, murder.

The casings were put in a safe at the public defender’s office for years until prosecutors learned of them when talking with Hogan about his agreement to testify against Mallory days before Mallory’s 2018 trial was to begin.

A special prosecutor outside of Jefferson County is investigating whether any crime was committed by Hogan’s defense team.

Hogan allegedly claims he saw Mallory bury the shell casings after Holt was shot to death in his mother’s apartment near Dixie Highway and East Rockford Lane. The defense team dug them up in June 2012, after Hogan had been arrested.  

Holt was a student at Farnsley Middle School. Prosecutors have said Holt’s mother, Kendra Wilson, participated in a robbery and attempted execution of Mallory hours earlier, and that Mallory shot the teen while trying to retaliate against Wilson.

The Mallory murder case has dragged on for years – with the trial postponed numerous times for various reasons – and because of the new testing, it has been again delayed from June to September. 

Hogan was pulled over in April 2012 in possession of the gun, but he has accused Mallory of firing the shots that killed the teen. He told police the men drove to the apartment, Mallory kicked in the door, planning to attack Wilson, and fired shots into the darkened home, killing the teen.

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Digital Reporter

Jason Riley is a criminal justice reporter for WDRB.com. He joined WDRB News in 2013 after 14 years with The Courier-Journal. He graduated from Western Kentucky University. Jason can be reached at 502-585-0823 and jriley@wdrb.com.