A case that began in early 2020 has ended with a Denison man being sentenced to 75 years in prison Friday. The burglary of a habitation with the Intent to commit murder and aggravated assault trial for Zachary Dean Jolliff, 31, of Denison, was held last week in the 59th District Court.
The jury delivered the sentence following a week-long jury trial before Judge Larry Phillips.
Jolliff was represented in the case by Jeromie Oney. He could not be reached immediately for comment on the case.
Jolliff must serve at least 30 years in prison being considered for parole.
The case began on January 1, 2020, when Denison police responded to a 911 calls at a house on Sears Street.
A news release from the Grayson County District Attorney's Office said a patrol officer entered the home to find the victim lying on the bathroom floor with serious injuries. The victim repeatedly screamed, "He tried to kill me." When asked who attacked her, the victim replied, "Zac." The officer immediately began documenting the scene and interviewing witnesses. Police quickly determine the identity of the suspect to be Zachary Jolliff. At the scene, the officer observed a front porch light appeared to not be working, despite the switch being in the "ON" position.
Police responded to Jolliff's house nearby.
His wife told the officers that she did not know where Jolliff was located and then lied to the patrol officers about his phone number and the type of vehicle he was driving, the release continued. Patrol officers eventually returned to his house and got permission to enter the residence. Denison officers found Jolliff hiding behind a baby crib in a room and arrested him. Police also recovered a white button-up shirt Jolliff was wearing during the attack, which was missing several buttons and appeared to have been washed.
Evidence presented during trial included videos from businesses in Denison obtained by Denison Detectives. This allowed police to establish a time-line of Jolliff's whereabouts that night. A video of Jolliff driving past the Denison Police Department following the attack was also obtained. Evidence during trial revealed Jolliff attempted to snap the victim's neck, gouge out her eye, and violently strangled her. Denison detectives, along with the Texas Rangers, obtained DNA samples from both the victim and Jolliff.
Denison detectives also recovered several white buttons on the floor of the victim's bathroom, numerous long hairs were recovered from Jolliff's white shirt, and a hair from the victim's mouth was also recovered at the hospital. Detectives also secured the light bulb from the front porch of the victim's house.
The prosecution called forensic scientists from the Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory. The experts detailed that the buttons recovered from the crime scene were scientifically similar to the buttons from Jolliff's shirt. A blood stain from the victim's T-shirt contained Jolliff's DNA. The hairs from Jolliff's shirt belonged to the victim, and the hair taken from the victim's mouth belonged to Jolliff.
Further, the front porch light bulb had a latent fingerprint identified as Jolliff's left index finger .
Assistant District Attorney Don Hoover said, "This was a senseless and violent criminal act on a defenseless young woman. The crime was so brazen because this defendant broke into the victim's home in the middle of the night and attempted to kill her for no reason. In fact, the victim's four young boys were asleep in the house while the defendant tried to kill their mother."
District Attorney Investigator Dennis Michael and District Attorney Brett Smith assisted in the prosecution.
This article originally appeared on Herald Democrat: Man gets 75-year sentence for attack on Denison woman in her home