A New Hampshire jury on Tuesday convicted a man of attempted murder and other counts for opening fire inside a Pelham, N.H. church in 2019, wounding a pastor who was presiding over a wedding there as well as the bride.
Jurors in Hillsborough County Superior Court found Dale E. Holloway, 41, guilty of attempted murder for the October 2019, shooting of Bishop Stanley Choate, then 75, but acquitted him of the same count in connection with the shooting of the bride, Claire McMullen, then 60.
Choate, pastor at New England Pentecostal Ministries, was shot in the chest area inside the church, while McMullen was shot in the arm, authorities said. Both victims survived.
Jurors also convicted Holloway of two counts of first-degree assault and sole counts of second-degree assault, possession of a firearm, and simple assault.
Authorities said that in addition to the shootings inside the church on the morning of Oct. 12, 2019, Holloway had also pistol-whipped the groom, Mark Castiglione, then 60.
Castiglione is the father of Brandon M. Castiglione, who’d been arrested for fatally shooting another minister at the church, Holloway’s stepfather Luis Garcia, 60, on Oct. 1, 2019 in Londonderry, N.H.
Officials said at the time of Holloway’s arrest that they were looking into whether Holloway was seeking revenge for his stepfather’s death.
During Holloway’s trial, WMUR-TV reported, prosecutor John Harding had asked jurors, “What better way to get back at the Castiglione family than to kill the new spouse, Claire, just as Brandon took away his mother’s loved one?”
Brandon Castiglione was ultimately convicted of second-degree murder in Garcia’s killing and sentenced to serve 42 years to life in prison, WMUR reported.
Holloway, who represented himself at trial, had told jurors that “I’m not guilty of these charges” in his closing statement, according to WMUR.
He represented himself after allegedly attacking his public defender during a jailhouse visit in 2019, the Associated Press reported at the time.
During the church shooting, authorities said, Holloway was gang-tackled by guests who kept him pinned down until police arrived.
He’d been released in December 2018 from a Massachusetts prison, where he served a sentence for beating an estranged girlfriend over three days in 2012.
In that matter he’d been sentenced to a maximum of seven years in prison, records show. He was released from MCI-Cedar Junction on Dec. 18, 2018, according to the Massachusetts Department of Correction.
Information on sentencing for Holloway in the church shooting wasn’t immediately available.
Jurors still had work to do Tuesday following the verdict.
They were scheduled to weigh an additional charge of Holloway being a felon in possession of a weapon, and they were also slated to weigh his contention that he was mentally unstable at the time of the brazen attack, WMUR reported.
“As you know, this trial is scheduled to go through this Thursday,” Judge Charles Templetold jurors from the bench after they delivered their verdict. “There is a second phase of this trial along with a third phase of this trial, which will occur.”
In an apparent reference to the felon in possession of a gun count, Temple said, “I expect that the second phase will be fairly short.” He added that “most of our time through Thursday, or until Thursday, will be taken up with the final phase of this particular trial.”
Holloway showed no visible signs of emotion when the verdicts were read.
Material from the Associated Press and from prior Globe stories.
Travis Andersen can be reached at [email protected].