Virginia Tech running back Michael Holmes released from jail on bond


Virginia Tech running back Michael Holmes faces one count of felony malicious wounding and two counts of simple assault. (J Pat Carter/AP)

Virginia Tech running back Michael Holmes was released from a Montgomery County (Va.) jail late Tuesday morning after posting a $2,500 bond following an appearance in Montgomery County General District court.

Holmes had been incarcerated for more than two days after being charged with one count of felony malicious wounding and two counts of simple assault.

According to the Blacksburg police department, Holmes, 19, was in a fight with four other people in a parking lot on the 200 block of College Avenue near campus around 1:50 a.m. Sunday morning. Two other people — Virginia Tech track and field athlete Ciara Simms and Kierra Barnes of Radford, Va. — have been arrested on charges of assault and battery because of the incident.

Holmes’s attorney, Jimmy Turk, said Tuesday in a telephone interview that Holmes was simply acting in self-defense, only becoming involved in the altercation after Simms, his ex-girlfriend, and Barnes attacked his current girlfriend, Karoline Seekford, by jumping her from behind and pushing her into a trash can.

Turk said Holmes initially tried to break up the fight before getting physical when Barnes’s cousin, Antoine Barnes, hit him. Holmes’s malicious wounding charge is the result of his altercation with Antoine Barnes, who was treated at LewisGale Medical Center that night.

“He doesn’t really understand, because two girls jump your current girlfriend and Michael is just trying to break it up and pull the two girls off his current girlfriend,” said Turk, who added no weapons were involved. “Next thing you know, some guy jumps in and that’s what our witnesses say happen. You think you’re doing what is right by breaking up a fight, but you end up landing in jail yourself. Sometimes you’re better off not getting involved, as hard as that may be, as hard as it may seem to some of these guys.”

According to the Roanoke Times, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Andrew Stephens presented proffers from Simms, Kierra Barnes and Antoine Barnes in court Tuesday that allege Holmes punched Kierra Barnes in the face and threw Antoine Barnes to the ground before kicking and punching him in the face. Simms also claimed in the proffer that Holmes dragged her by the hair across the parking lot and that he shouldn’t have been granted bond.

Holmes, who started five games and rushed for 280 yards last season, has been indefinitely suspended until his felony malicious wounding charge is resolved, according to athletic department policy. If convicted of a felony, he would be kicked off the football team.

Holmes has a preliminary hearing in Montgomery Country General District court scheduled for June 13, where Turk said he hopes to have the malicious wounding charge dismissed.

Mark Giannotto covers Virginia and Virginia Tech for The Washington Post.
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