Jury finds Holley not guilty of kidnapping, assault


Former Kent State football player Nate Holley hugs his brother Nick after a verdict was reached by a jury at the Portage County Municipal Courthouse on Ravenna, Ohio on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. Holley was found not guilty on all charges.

Henry Palattella

Nate Holley Trial: Day 3 from KentWired.com on Vimeo.



A jury found former Kent State football player Nate Holley not guilty of kidnapping and felonious assault in the Portage County Court of Common Pleas Thursday.

Holley — who remained stoic throughout most of the trial — had tears in his eyes when the verdicts were announced. Two rows behind him, his family — including his brother Nick, quarterback for the Flashes’ football team — also reacted emotionally.

Kent State senior Ceara Tackett, who filed the complaint against Holley that led to the charges, wasn’t present in the courtroom during the verdict.

Both the defense and prosecution gave closing statements Thursday morning. Each rehashed their specific side of the case to the jury.

Assistant Portage County Prosecutor Eric Finnegan, restated what Tackett said in her testimony on Wednesday.

Holley’s attorneys, James Eskridge and George Keith, split the closing arguments, and told the jury there were contradictions in Tackett’s testimony.

She said Holley grabbed her in the car by her hair, but her later testimony said he grabbed her by her sweatshirt. Tackett also said she arrived home at 5 a.m., but phone records indicate she was dropped off around 3 a.m, the attorneys said.

Holley is scheduled to appear in court April 12 to face three related charges added earlier this week from the same incident.

Those include two charges of intimidation and one charge of stalking.

Henry Palattella is the sports editor, contact him at [email protected].