Kelli Bordeaux’s mom to killer: ‘You, Mr. Holbert, I hate’

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Nicholas Holbert, the man accused of killing Fort Bragg soldier Kelli Bordeaux, pleaded guilty on Friday afternoon, bringing to a conclusion a three-year case of a missing young soldier.

Kelli Bordeaux
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Bordeaux, 23, was missing for more than two years when her body was finally discovered in a shallow grave in a wooded area in Fayetteville. Her family had desperately hoped she would be found alive and searchers often combed Cumberland County in a desperate search for clues.

Prosecutors told the court Friday that Bordeaux was estranged from her husband at the time and she was involved with another man, who was out of town the night of the murder.

The prosecutor said Holbert picked her up at her apartment that night, and took her to the Froggy Bottoms bar. At 12:46 a.m., Bordeaux texted the other man she had been seeing that she was going to ride home with Holbert. She expressed some concern about that since, the prosecutor said, she had learned at the bar that Holbert was a registered sex offender.

The prosecutor said Holbert, on the way out, asked if she would be willing to see Holbert more. But Bordeaux said something “derogatory,” that made Holbert mad. He struck her in the face, knocking her out, and then took her to his campsite behind the car.

When Bordeaux woke up screaming, the prosecutor said, Holbert beat her senseless at the camp site. He then sent a text to her boyfriend on her phone, saying, “Got home safe. I’m going to bed.”

Holbert eventually led police to the site of her shallow grave. Once her body was found, an autopsy confirmed blows to her head killed her.

Holbert was in court at 2:30. He agreed, in a plea agreement, to life in prison without parole.

Holbert asked her family to forgive him at some point. But her family was not in a forgiving mood.

The brother of Bordeaux left the courtroom after an outburst and did not return. Her mother took the stand and blasted Holbert.

“She was a decent person,” her mother said in a tearful statement from the witness stand. “She didn’t judge people unfairly. … I wish she had found out [what type of person Holbert was earlier].

When Tolbert wouldn’t face her, she said, “Would you look at for me for a minute please? I don’t understand how you could take a beautiful young girl for pretty much no reasons and beat her with your fists and rocks and then bury her in the woods like a dog.

“Would you forgive someone like that? Is your heart big enough for that? … You, Mr. Holbert, I hate. You took my grandchildren from me. You took my baby girl. And for nothing. And you want to say sorry?”

Bordeaux, who had joined the Army in 2011, had last been seen April 14, 2012, when she left the Froggy Bottoms bar with Holbert. The site of where her body was discovered was about four miles from the bar.

Holbert was charged with first-degree murder after Bordeaux’s remains were discovered.

Bordeaux, 23, was missing for more than two years when her body was finally discovered in a shallow grave in a wooded area in Fayetteville. Her family had desperately hoped she would be found alive and searchers often combed Cumberland County in a desperate search for clues.

Holbert eventually led police to the site of her shallow grave. Once her body was found, an autopsy confirmed blows to her head killed her.

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