Mother of West Memphis suspect has not seen video of shootout

Jerry Kane steps out of his van, moments before two West Memphis police officers were shot.
Jerry Kane steps out of his van, moments before two West Memphis police officers were shot.

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - One day after video of the deadly West Memphis shootout was released, the mother of one of the suspects spoke out about that day.

While Jerry Kane traveled the country with his 16-year-old son, Joseph, his mother was in Marysville, Ohio.  On the night the Kanes were killed, Patricia Holt received a phone call.

"I had a call from that common law wife of my son's in Florida on Thursday night, the 20th of May," Holt said Thursday.

The reality of this violent scene set in the following day when, Ohio police knocked on her door.

"The Ohio State Patrol had me identify Joseph from a morgue photograph," she said.

At the time of their deaths, Holt had not seen her son or grandson in more than ten years. Thursday, she would not say why she has been unable to give them a proper burial.  

"Intact bodies were not available," she said. "You know, that you put in a casket, and you have a viewing, and you have a service, and that kind of thing. We do not have that."

Holt said she has not viewed the video of her grandson opening fire on two officers with an AK-47, but she would like to.

"I guess I haven't seen it, so I can't absolutely come to grips with it, so that I can mourn," she said.

Holt admitted she is still angry at her son and grandson for taking the lives of two officers.  But, she feels her grandson was being protective of his father.  Action News 5 asked her if there were any lessons that could be learned from what happened.

"I think the time for any lessons to be learned has passed, on the twentieth of May," she said.

Holt did not want to comment about her son's philosophy regarding law enforcement and the government, and said it was not worth her breath to explain to the public what kind of people they were.

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