Man sentenced for his part in shooting at Seneca officer

Gavel Graphic


NEWTON COUNTY, Mo. – An Oklahoma man enters an Alford plea for his part in shooting at a Seneca, Missouri police officer.

Judge Gregory Stremel sentenced Bradley Ray Holmes, Jr., 24, of Miami, Oklahoma, to 15 years in prison for the following charges:

  • One count of Assault in the First Degree
  • One count of Unlawful Use of a Weapon for Aiding or Abetting the Shooting a Firearm from a Vehicle

According to the Newton County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, one count of Armed Criminal Action was dismissed.

“Mr. Holmes will spend well over a decade in prison for his part in this wanton act of violence against law enforcement. This resolution shows our commitment to keeping our officers safe and sends a message to those that would endanger them: we will not tolerate crime against the police in Newton County,” said Newton County Prosecuting Attorney William Lynch.

The Alford Plea entered by the defendant allows him to plea guilty without admitting guilt. Lynch explained that this was in part to the lack of evidence of Holmes being the gunman.

On September 12, 2o2o, a Seneca Police Officer was trying to make a traffic stop of a vehicle carrying three people when he saw a back window open and a flash come from the vehicle, followed by bullets hitting the officer’s patrol vehicle.

(Previous article: 3 charged for allegedly shooting at police car)

The vehicle kept going, drove through a fence and into a field where the occupants were able to evade pursuit.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the vehicle was later found along with numerous weapons, spent bullet casings and bullet holes in the tailgate of the vehicle.

Authorities later took Holmes and two other suspects into custody.

Kenneth Nelums Tony Helms

Kenneth Nelums, Tony Helms

The Circuit Court filed charges against the men for assault in the 1st degree with a special victim, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon.

The other suspects, Kenneth Cecil Nelums, 59, of Picher, Oklahoma, and Tony Lucian Helms, 53, of Baxter Springs, Kansas, are still awaiting trial.

The case was investigated by the Seneca Police Department and prosecuted by William Lynch and Sarah Crites, of the Newton County Prosecutor’s Office.