Press release: Melrose man gets 12 years for child abuse

Clovis, NM — Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler announced today that Phillip Holmes, age 26, of Melrose pled guilty today to charges of 1st Degree Child Abuse and was sentenced today to twelve (12) years in the Department of Corrections.

The charges stem from March 5, 2009, when the Melrose Police Department responded to Plains Regional Medical Center concerning a 3-month old baby girl suffering from two broken arms and multiple areas of bruising. Upon arriving, authorities found that the mother rushed the baby to the hospital after the child started displaying signs of impaired motor skills. The mother told authorities that she stepped outside the house for a short period of time and left the child under the care of the child’s father, Phillip Holmes. Phillip Holmes attempted to explain to authorities that his daughter sustained the injuries after she fell off the bed and was attacked by a pit bull puppy at the residence. As the investigation continued, Holmes changed his story and claimed that he accidently dropped the child. However, both of Holmes stories were inconsistent with the injuries to the child and the medical doctors’ examinations.

The Honorable Judge Stephen K. Quinn presided over the sentencing hearing and Chief Deputy District Attorney Andrea Reeb prosecuted the case for the State. Judge Quinn sentenced Holmes to serve twelve (12) years in the New Mexico State Penitentiary. Once Holmes finishes his prison term, he faces an intensively supervised probation period of an additional two (2) years. The court also ordered Holmes to participate in mandatory counseling while incarcerated and continue the counseling as a condition of his parole.

For further information concerning this case, please contact the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office or visit