Cullman woman extradited from Florida to face capital murder charges in Birmingham


Kristen Leigh Gullion (Jefferson County Jail)

BIRMINGHAM – A Cullman woman, one of two people charged with capital murder in the deaths of an elderly Birmingham couple, has been extradited from Florida and was booked into the Jefferson County Jail Tuesday. Kristen Leigh Gullion, now 31, and her boyfriend Zachary Phillips, 23, of Arab are each charged with capital murder and burglary in the Aug. 2 slayings of 68-year-old Joe Holt and his wife, 67-year-old Mary Holt.

Gullion is being held without bond on two counts of first-degree capital murder during burglary.

Phillips remains in the custody of Florida law enforcement authorities for unrelated felony charges and will be transported back to Birmingham at a later date.

Authorities in south Florida arrested the pair in August. Gullion was found Thursday, Aug. 9 with a car belonging to the slain Birmingham couple, who were discovered on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018 at 8720 Ninth Court Circle South in Birmingham.

Birmingham police said in a statement on Aug. 9: "BPD investigators received information that the Miami Police Department recovered the gray 2012 Honda Civic that belong to the victims. Miami Police also arrested a subject in that vehicle that had an unrelated outstanding arrest warrant. BPD homicide investigators are currently in Florida gathering additional information."

Police said the car belonging to the Holts was discovered illegally parked on South Pointe Drive in Miami Beach. Officers arrested Gullion and later discovered she had a warrant in Cullman County.

According to the arrest report, Gullion told police the car she was driving belonged to her friend and said, “in situations like this her father told her to keep her mouth shut.”

Although originally reported to be from Decatur, Gullion stated her permanent residence as County Road 1488 in Cullman.

Phillips, who resides on County Road 1855 in Arab, was arrested Friday afternoon, Aug. 10, following a chase with police in Hollywood, Florida.

The Hollywood Florida Police Department said of his arrest, “Hollywood officers observed the stolen vehicle which the suspect was believed to be driving. The vehicle was reported stolen out of Miami Beach. Officers attempted to locate and engage the vehicle for several hours… When officers attempted to stop the vehicle, the vehicle fled and ultimately crashed into parked vehicles at Dixie Highway and Roosevelt Street. A female, Vivian De La Rosa Toniana, was driving the vehicle and was taken into custody at the scene. Zachary Phillips, who had been in the passenger seat, exited the vehicle and fled on foot. Phillips was believed to be armed.”

Gullion Warrant by TheCullmanTribune on Scribd

WVTM 13 contributed to this report.

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