Home Law and Courts Steven Nave received 18 years for second-degree murder

Steven Nave received 18 years for second-degree murder

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Steven Nave received 18 years for second-degree murder

Caleb A. Gallegos/News-Sun

Steven Nave was sentenced to 18 years in prison with two years of parole for the murder of Clinton Holladay on July 21, 2021, in the Fifth Judicial District Court by District Judge Efren Cortez on Thursday.

Nave, 42, of Lovington, pleaded guilty to the murder of Holladay after Nave discovered his “common law wife,” Tracy Summers, was in an alleged relationship with Holladay.

Nave was charged with second-degree murder, a second-degree felony; tampering with evidence and transportation or possession of a firearm or destructive device by certain person (felon), both third-degree felonies.

On July, 17, 2021, Lea County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call in reference to a gunshot victim and possible motor vehicle accident in the area of Grimes Street and Cope Place, according to the LCSO report.

When officers arrived on scene, they noticed a blue Dodge pickup truck had collided with a tree, and Holladay had suffered a gunshot wound to the head.

Summers was reportedly in the passenger seat of the pickup with what appeared to be blood stained clothes, and looked visibly distraught, according to the report.

Summers told deputies she had broken up with Nave a week prior to the incident, and had started living with Holladay. And, before Holladay was murdered, she and Holladay had been visiting Holladay’s parents and noticed Nave following them as they drove away from Holladay’s parents house.

Summers told deputies Holladay told her “I think that’s Steven behind us,” to which Summers replied “yes” and tried to slouch in the passenger seat of Holladay’s truck as Nave followed.

Holladay told Summers “he’s fixing to come up on your side,” as Nave drove up to the passenger side of Holladay’s truck, Summers told deputies.

Summers told deputies she slouched further down in the vehicle and then heard a loud “pop,”and after the loud “pop” Summers said her ears started to ring and Holladay fell over on her, with blood was coming from his mouth, according to the report.

Summers said she tried to grab the wheel of Holladay’s truck to bring it to a stop, but the truck crashed into a tree and Nave continued driving, according to the report.

Summers provided deputies with messages Nave had sent to Summers days before the incident, threatening Summers to “get rid of him,” referring to Holladay.

Nave also allegedly sent messages to Summers saying, “you took your attention off me and (Summers and Nave’s daughter) more so and put it on him. If I get a chance I’ll do my best to get rid of him,” and “Your gonna get someone killed,” along with other threats to Holladay.

Judge Cortez allowed the family of Hollaway to air grievances, statements and concerns they might have — giving them each a moment to say what they felt they needed to say.

Many of the family members who spoke recalled memories of Holladay, and highlighted the features they cherished about him.

Holladay’s family told the court how Holladay will never get the chance to see his two sons grow, and felt Nave should receive more time for his crime.

“He was my first born son, my friend, my hunting buddy, my fishing buddy, my Dallas Cowboys watching buddy, my ‘let’s have a beer’ buddy, my helper any time I needed him,” Holladay’s father said during his emotional statement to the court. “This selfish, horrendous event was completely avoidable and didn’t need or have to happen.

“Clint was shot down in cold blood for trying to help a young woman in an abusive relationship with her child’s father. Clint was a one-of-a-kind young man to a lot of people.”

Holladay’s mother also gave her statement to the court, and Judge Cortez. She told the court Holladay was a son, a father, a brother, and an uncle who had a “huge heart.”

“Clint was taught by his dad to work hard. He was taught many skills. Clint was a loving and compassionate person who used those skills to help many people,” Holladay’s mother said. “My loving husband and boys worked hard together, and played hard together. When my boys got older those were very special times, but now one is missing.”

During his statement to the court Holladay’s younger brother said he believes the amount of time Nave received as a sentence was not enough.

“Your honor in today’s time the average American lives to be 80-years-old. Clint was taken at the age of 38, not getting to see the next 42 years of his life. His oldest son at the time was 17 his youngest was 13. Clints sons will spend the next 40 to 50 years without their dad in their lives, and possibly their children’s life some day. We were the only two children had my Randy and Misty. They were at the young age of 22-years-old when they had Clint. They were 59 years of age when Clint was taken from them, that means approximately 21 years of their lives without their oldest son has been stripped from them because of the decisions Steven Nave made. I was 36-years-old when Steven killed my only brother, that leaves me with approximately 44 years without Clint to enjoy life with. Your honor this sentence isn’t enough. It doesn’t come close to the years that Clint was taken from us and his loved ones. We ask the maximum sentence your honor, and even the max isn’t enough,” Holladay’s brother said.

Judge Cortez allowed Nave to address the court before delivering sentencing.

“I don’t think any amount of apology I could give would be enough to express the weight my heart carries everyday,” Nave said. “Clint was a friend of mine, we went to school together. I think about what happen everyday. I pray every night that if I have a place in heaven and Clint didn’t to just let him have mine.

“I thought the family was aware of this plea deal. It breaks my heart even more that they don’t believe it is enough time. I really don’t believe its enough. I got blessed and I really don’t deserve it.”

Nave was sentenced to 15 years with 2 years parole, and an additional 3 years were added due to a firearm enhancement charge. Nave was credited 1000 days incarcerated.

“Nothing that we do in the court of law will change the events that occurred on the day in question, and for that I am sincerely sorry,” Judge Cortez said. “What I do know is that justice looks different for everyone. For some its seeing the perpetrator in prison for a long time. For some its finding peace eternally.

“Unfortunately you still probably have one burning question, and that is ‘why?’ That is not lost on me. I am keenly aware when tragedies like this happen the families are left reeling and wondering why it happened. Unfortunately you might not have that answer through this process.

“In this case, in light of the fact this case never went to trial and you didn’t hear all the specific facts, you likely don’t. My sincere hope is the healing process can begin after this case is concluded.“

 

 

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