INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — During a pre-trial hearing for William Gholston, the 46-year-old charged in the murder of 15-year-old Dominique Allen, a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.
The courtroom was filled with family and friends of 15-year-old Dominique Allen. Police say Gholston killed Allen in August. After a two-and–half month investigation, investigators found Gholston’s DNA on Allen’s foot, shoe, and hand.
Police believe Allen was strangled to death in an abandoned house. Her body was later found, badly burned and discarded behind a nearby home on Elder Avenue.
Police say Gholston used to live in that area. They say the two didn’t know each other and they don’t know how they crossed paths.
Gholston’s pretrial hearing lasted about 10 minutes. In that time frame, a judge read Gholston his rights, she assigned him a public defender, and then deputies took him back to the jail cell.
Once the pre-trial came to an end, Allen’s family stood side by side and took questions.
“I didn’t sleep last night, we tossed, and turned,” said Allen’s Sister Shenika Poindexter.
The Allen family did not answer questions specifically about Gholston. However, they did speak on their desire to see justice fulfilled.
“Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, everybody has their day it is not up to us to decide,” said Poindexter.
Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Mark Hollingsworth is the lead prosecutor on the Allen case. According to the probable cause affidavit, the key piece of evidence in the case is Gholston’s DNA on Allen’s body. In the past 20 years, Hollingsworth has prosecuted several murder cases where DNA was a key factor. Hollingsworth admitted DNA cases can be a challenge to take to trial.
“The science has just progressed the accuracy has progressed,” said Hollingsworth in referring to DNA evidence.
Detective Marcus Kennedy is the lead investor on Allen’s case. Kennedy is still investigating the details of the investigation, and he isn’t ready to say Gholston worked alone.
“We can’t rule it out,” said Kennedy. “That’s what I mean by the investigation continues, if we develop another suspect we will pursue.”
Police are also trying to figure out if Gholston is connected to five other unsolved murders of women in Indianapolis. Like Allen, police say, in all these cases the victims were strangled.
Gholston’s next court appearance is scheduled for February 11.
Gholston is being held in jail without bond.