Holm imprisoned for killing pedestrian on Missoula street

2013-04-16T22:00:00Z 2013-07-11T16:49:33Z Holm imprisoned for killing pedestrian on Missoula street

Two years, five months and one week after Brian Beaver’s death, the man who killed him finally began serving his prison sentence.

Brian Holm, 52, of Lolo, reported to the Missoula County jail Tuesday afternoon to begin the process that eventually will take him to the state prison in Deer Lodge.

“Now we’re going to actually start healing,” said Teesha Beaver, whose brother died Nov. 9, 2010, when Holm’s car veered across oncoming traffic lanes on Brooks Street and onto the sidewalk, striking Beaver, who was walking there with two friends.

Holm’s blood alcohol content rendered him legally drunk that night, and he’d also been taking a painkiller, sleep aid and anti-depressant prescribed to him, according to court documents.

A Missoula County District Court jury in 2011 found Holm guilty of vehicular homicide while under the influence, and Judge Dusty Deschamps sentenced him to 30 years in prison with 15 suspended. But that sentence was delayed as Holm filed motion after motion, and also traveled to Minnesota, where his sister lives, for heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic in February.

Most recently, he sought to postpone going to prison again so that he could spend 12 weeks in cardiac rehab. Deschamps denied that motion and ordered Holm to appear in court Tuesday afternoon for “execution of sentence.”

The Beaver family, of Washington state, had a brief scare Monday when they heard that court hearing had been vacated in favor of allowing Holm to report to the jail on his own by 1 p.m. Tuesday.

“I thought, ‘Oh, no, here we go again,’ ” said Beaver’s mother, Virginia, whose ill health prevented her from traveling to Missoula for Holm’s trial or subsequent court actions.

“I was worried, thinking he might not show up,” said Teesha Beaver. When a friend texted her a photo of Holm walking into the jail, “I was sitting at my computer squealing like a little girl,” she said.

Teesha Beaver has never actually met the woman who sent her the photo, but said the woman is one of many Missoula residents who have contacted her family with sympathy and support.

“The outreach has been phenomenal,” she said. “I don’t begrudge Missoula. I begrudge the justice system and obviously Holm for his part in it, in terms of his stupidity for getting behind the wheel in the first place and taking the life of my brother.”

Brian Beaver of Aberdeen, Wash., had been on a trip to Yellowstone National Park with two boyhood friends when the trio stopped in Missoula for the night. He had a wife and 3-year-old son. He’d also nursed his mother through her recovery from a double lung transplant several years earlier. Since his death, Virginia Beaver has survived breast cancer and now is undergoing tests for a potential heart problem.

When her daughter forwarded her the photos Tuesday of Holm walking into the jail, it was a rare moment of brightness, she said.

“I’d like to give everybody there (in Missoula) a big hug,” she said. “They definitely helped me through it.


The woman who texted the photos Tuesday – she would not give her name – waited outside the jail as a chilly morning turned into what felt like an even colder, grayer afternoon.

“I really feel badly for the (Beaver) family,” said the woman, who didn’t attend Holm’s trial but said the case captivated her as Holm pushed his sentence further and further back.

She was so worried that he wouldn’t report as planned Tuesday that she called Deschamps’ office that morning and was assured Holm had returned from Minnesota to Missoula.

There was no Holm at 1 p.m., but a friend of his lingering outside the jail told the woman and waiting journalists that Holm was on his way. A couple of minutes later, a black pickup delivered Holm.

As he made his way across the parking lot, his sister from Minnesota attempted to deflect photographs by holding a cardboard box in front of her brother’s face. When Holm was asked if he wanted to say anything, his sister answered for him that he did not.

“It would just get twisted anyway,” Holm muttered.

The woman stood a few feet away from the door at the jail, holding up her phone and recording the moment as Holm lingered, saying goodbye to his sister. She did not step away until the door closed.

“Finally,” she said quietly. “Finally, finally, finally.”

In Washington, Virginia Beaver echoed her words.

“Finally, some justice,” she said. “It’s wonderful.”

Missoulian reporter Gwen Florio can be reached at 523-5268,, or @CopsAndCourts.

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(21) Comments

  1. LiveLaughLove
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    LiveLaughLove - April 18, 2013 11:05 pm
    You could start a support group for mothers of unremorseful, murdering sons. During meetings, you could air your deluded bitterness and cynicism with one another about how you feel about the unspeakable, life-long pain and grief mothers of murdered sons and daughters must endure. I know just the woman to become Member No. 2.
  2. mischief
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    mischief - April 18, 2013 6:28 pm
    As a friend of the Beaver family I can assure you that Virginia refuses to respond to the incredibly stupid comments of not so gr8 grandma, while I on the other hand can't let asinine comments about this brave woman go by. If you are related to the murderer then I see where he gets his stupidity. At least with one drunken idiot off the streets the people of Missoula are a little bit safer walking down their sidewalk. And if she wants to do an inteview eveyday she has earned the right, and if you don't like it than don't read it. Oh I also found one person who has decided not to drive drunk and endanger everyones lives, Holm.
  3. RPT
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    RPT - April 18, 2013 2:15 pm
    Shame on you Ms. Holms... If someone has to explain that one to you then your in a state of denial worse then your son's.
    Your time would be better spent praying that he survives Deer Lodge.
  4. Gr8 Grandma
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    Gr8 Grandma - April 18, 2013 12:51 pm
    And what good will that do? I dare you to find even one person who decides not to drive drunk because Holm is in prison.
  5. Gr8 Grandma
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    Gr8 Grandma - April 18, 2013 12:49 pm
    Are we going to have monthly updates from prison and interviews with Virginia Beaver to show how happy she is now?
    We've had lots of other drunk drivers and victims over the past few years. You've hardly wrote anything about them. How come you've spent so much newspaper space canonizing Beaver and demonizing Holm?
  6. Roger
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    Roger - April 18, 2013 8:37 am
    So Holm ran his vehicle off the road and killed a pedestrian on the sidewalk, and receives prison time - that's justice. But when a Korean woman runs her vehicle off the road and kills a pedestrian on the sidewalk, she gets off with no charges and has her identity concealed. How about some equal justice? Isn't that what America is about?
  7. Longhorn Fan
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    Longhorn Fan - April 18, 2013 5:37 am
    pl:: And sister doesn't know how to shield his face! She holds up a box to shield his face and all she does is to shield the background. She looks like she doesn't know where his face is!
  8. MontanaJim72
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    MontanaJim72 - April 18, 2013 2:37 am
    I think his expensive clothes won't matter when he gets to Deer Lodge. You are never going to see Missoula again. Live with that. You can tell your friends your new address is on Conley Lake Road, Deer Lodge. That is where your life is for the rest of your life.
  9. Trev
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    Trev - April 17, 2013 7:25 pm
    The headline says "killing pedestrian on Missoula street" He did not kill him on the street. It was on a sidewalk! Killed him on a sidewalk with his car! He's is the right place now though.
  10. ThinkAboutIt
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    ThinkAboutIt - April 17, 2013 3:08 pm
    Oh PLEASE, lay it to rest, already! The only reason Holm wasn't in prison yet was so WE wouldn't have to pay for his operations. I commend the judge for that. It's bad enough that we have to pay for his upkeep now. What good is to come from him sitting in prison, costing us $110 a day? Better to have him work to support Beaver's family for the rest of his life. And why, once again, is the Missoulian giving him 3/4 of the front page? This tragedy already has 20 times as much ink as any other story. Where's the reporting on the murderer of Chance Geery, also hit by a car in Missoula? 170 victims in Boston only get a sidebar? The extreme bias in every article of this story makes it hard to believe anything you print.
  11. pl
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    pl - April 17, 2013 1:27 pm
    Apparently Holm's sister isn't much better than he is! Trying to shield his face??? Really??
    After murdering a young man??? His face has been plastered all over the paper anyway.
    Apparently they both think that showing his face is a bad thing, but murder isn't????
    Sound like those two fell from the same rotten tree.
  12. wonderwhy
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    wonderwhy - April 17, 2013 8:30 am
    Thinking of the Beaver family. I hope seeing justice will make it easier to move forward and heal from your tremendous loss.
  13. walter12
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    walter12 - April 17, 2013 7:10 am
    It is about time. What about the victim?
  14. Parkway
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    Parkway - April 17, 2013 6:37 am
    I agree !!!!!
  15. Parkway
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    Parkway - April 17, 2013 6:36 am
    To the Brian Beaver family.......I am so very sorry for your loss and your pain.
    Brian Holms is a coward who will never admit fault. I can only imagine how difficult it was for you to wait for the wheels of justice to turn.
    It makes me sick to my stomach to read about how this evil and worthless person was able to postpone his due justice.
    Sometimes I wish we could have an "eye for an eye".......this man should be locked away for the rest of his life. He took a life and no longer deserves freedom.
    God bless Brian.
  16. mike1
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    mike1 - April 16, 2013 11:24 pm
    I guess that sometimes the wheels of justice go really slow, especially when the convicted person attempts to "game the system" to prevent the inevitable.
  17. Cats Life
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    Cats Life - April 16, 2013 6:23 pm
    He should be eligible for parole in roughly 4 years.
  18. pl
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    pl - April 16, 2013 5:29 pm
    All along Holms has showed NO remorse and thinks he is a special entitled individual who should have just been excused for being a drunken murderer. FINALLY some justice for the victim's family. I hope Holms rots in jail. Maybe there he'll realized he is not so special and entitled. There is no excuse that he has walked free for 2 and a half years! Shame on the judge and Missoula "justice".
  19. RPT
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    RPT - April 16, 2013 3:44 pm
    This report is not actually accurate... Holms was ordered to be in Deschamps court at 1:30 this afternoon...
    Holms requested to not have that 1:30 hearing and requested to be allowed to report directly to the jail.
    Deschamps granted that request.
    No doubt Holms did not want to face his victims family in court today is why he made that request.
    Once a coward.. ALWAYS a coward.
    May his stay in Deer Lodge be long and painful.
  20. dsrobins
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    dsrobins - April 16, 2013 3:01 pm
    It's good that this drunken killer is finally behind bars. It's shameful that it took so long to get him where he belongs.
  21. mischief
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    mischief - April 16, 2013 2:41 pm
    It's about time the murderer is finally where he belongs. And from his one statement that any comment he would make would get twisted anyway, just shows he has no remorse for what he did. All he cares about is himself, oh poor me why is everyone picking on me, I didn't do anything wrong. I hope he has a good time in prison and meets some very comforting cell mates, if you know what I mean.

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