Dale Holloway allegedly opened fire at the 2019 wedding less than two weeks after the groom's son fatally shot Holloway's stepfather
The bishop was pronouncing Claire McMullen and Mark Castiglione husband and wife when shots rang out — one bullet hitting the bride in the arm, another piercing Bishop Stanley Choate in the chest.
But the October 2019 shooting wasn’t the first involving the New England Pentecostal Ministries in Pelham, N.H.
Just 11 days earlier, the church’s pastor, Luis Garcia, was fatally shot inside his home, in a case that prosecutors told a jury at the start of trial yesterday was connected to the nuptial gunfire, the Associated Press reports.
“With just a few shots,” prosecutor Seth Dobieski said in opening statements reported by the AP, “the defendant turned marriage into mayhem.”
From the beginning, police believed the shooting was targeted, PEOPLE previously reported, with Pelham Police Chief Joseph Roark saying the shooting did “not seem to be a random event.”
Dale Holloway, Garcia’s stepson, was arrested in connection with the shooting after being reportedly “tackled” to the ground by wedding guests, who kept him pinned down until police arrived.
The groom’s son, Brandon Castiglione, had been arrested before the wedding, charged with murdering Garcia, according to the AP. (This August, he was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 42 years for the pastor’s killing, according to the outlet. The son reportedly attended the church, but law enforcement never determined a reason for the pastor’s fatal shooting.)
People mourning their fallen pastor arrived at the church later that day for a celebration of life ceremony, only to be reportedly turned away by law enforcement investigating the disrupted wedding.
The jury watched the couple’s wedding video Wednesday and heard from the videographer, ABC’s WMUR9 reported.
Claiming Holloway was the shooter, wedding videographer James Merchant alleged how “he pointed [the gun] at the bishop’s upper left chest,” per the outlet, which is livestreaming the trial.
“I feared for my life," Merchant said.
Prosecutors — who did not respond to PEOPLE’s requests for interviews by phone and email — stopped the video just before the gunman opened fire.
During the mayhem, the groom was struck in the head by an object, and the wedding couple — both in their 60s — were taken to a local hospital and treated for their injuries. The 75-year-old bishop, who was in serious condition at Tufts Medical Center in Boston hours after performing the ceremony, the AP reported at the time, also survived his injuries.
Holloway — who is already serving a state prison sentence of 7 ½ to 15 years for assaulting his lawyer — is now representing himself against attempted murder charges, the AP reports. The 41-year-old has pleaded not guilty to the charges and told the judge that he will argue an insanity defense, according to the outlet.
“You have heard both the judge and state say that I don’t have to prove my innocence– that I am innocent until proven guilty of these charges,” Holloway told the jury in opening statements Tuesday, per the AP. “But I can and I will present the actual, factual truth just because I am not guilty of these charges.”
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