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'Life has been pure hell': Mother questions Madison County plea deal for son's killer

Zeandre Marjuan Paul Zachary, who went by "Z," was shot during what police now say was a drug deal behind a Madison Kroger in October 2019.

Posted: Nov 23, 2021 4:11 PM
Updated: Nov 23, 2021 6:53 PM

The mother of an Alabama A&M University graduate who was shot and killed in Madison more than two years ago said a recent plea deal was not what she considers justice.

Zeandre Marjuan Paul Zachary, who went by "Z," was shot during what police now say was a drug deal behind a Madison Kroger in October 2019. Spencer Xavier Holden pleaded guilty to manslaughter this month after he was originally indicted on a murder charge.

Zeandre Marjuan Paul Zachary; Courtesy of family

Zeandre Marjuan Paul Zachary; Courtesy of family

Holden was sentenced to the maximum of 20 years in prison under the plea deal with prosecutors.

Denise Zachary said the district attorney's office never told her they were offering the plea to Holden.

“My son was murdered by Spencer Xavier Holden, and there is not a day a moment that goes by that I do not cry, missing my child,” Denise Zachary said Tuesday.

She does not believe she has received the support she needed from the justice system. 

The district attorney's office, working with victim's advocates, told WAAY 31 they have kept the family informed since the killing. The DA said the plea deal Holden accepted was based on facts in the case.

“We were never notified of any plea deal, we were never notified that they were putting this on the table, we weren’t notified of circumstances or what happened or how it happened or why we’re making this decision,” Denise Zachary said. 

Holden was allowed bond, and even though he accepted the plea deal, the judge is allowing him to remain free on that bond as he finishes up a college class. Denise Zachary said she's not OK with the arrangement.

“He is out right now, two years later, free, so no, I am not OK with it," she said. "How is it that he can wake up and still have Thanksgiving with his family, but my son is in the ground forever?”

Since Denise Zachary and Z’s father are divorced, she said it is possible he was considered the point of contact and he received those important updates in the case from the courts since he is located in Huntsville and she is outside of the state.

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