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Hampton police make arrest in cold-case killing: A man is charged in the slaying of an ODU student during a botched robbery 7 years ago.
[January 30, 2009]

Hampton police make arrest in cold-case killing: A man is charged in the slaying of an ODU student during a botched robbery 7 years ago.

HAMPTON, Jan 30, 2009 (Daily Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Police have charged a 25-year-old man with the killing of an Old Dominion University student during a botched robbery in Hampton almost seven years ago.

Bradley Lamar Holmes, 25, of Madrid Drive in Hampton was arrested early Thursday by Hampton detectives with the assistance of the Newport News Police Department.

He has been charged with murder in the death of 19-year-old Christopher Tromly from Hampton. Holmes is also charged with attempted robbery and two counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony. Holmes is being held in the Hampton City Jail.

Hampton police spokeswoman Cpl. Paula Ensley said investigators were pleased to make an arrest in a homicide that shocked the city at the time.

Tromly was fatally wounded in a botched robbery on May 21, 2002, at an automated teller machine in Hampton's Willow Oaks neighborhood.

He had withdrawn $40 from the SunTrust ATM when two men tried to rob him. Tromly was shot three times as he drove away from the ATM.

After being shot, Tromly bleeding badly, managed to drive to a friend's house in Artillery Road, where his friend's parents dialed 911.

Tromly spent the next two days in Riverside Regional Medical Center's intensive care unit. He died of his injuries May 23.

Tromly had graduated from Kecoughtan High School with highest honors. He had finished his first weekend with the National Guard two days before being shot.

He'd planned to serve in the Guard while studying at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, and to continue his military service after graduation. He also wanted to become a soccer coach and physical education teacher after finishing his degree.

His parents set up the Chris Tromly Scholarship Fund after the killing.
Since 2003, the fund has awarded $1,000 college scholarships to members of the high school's soccer teams.

Ensley said the case still touches Hampton police officers who were in the division in 2002.
She said Detective Karen Alba had been "working diligently" on the case for several years. "I have never seen someone so passionate over a case.

"There is no closed case," Ensley said. "If there is something to follow up on, we will follow up on it."

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