August 30, 2014

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Coroner’s records: Slaying victim was dismembered

LORAIN — Catherine “Kat” Hoholski’s body was dismembered after she was killed in June, according to the Lorain County coroner’s office.

The coroner’s case file, which The Chronicle-Telegram reviewed Friday, indicated that Hoholski’s legs were severed below the waist and that her left arm was missing from the plastic storage container where her decomposed remains were found Aug. 8.

Hoholski’s boyfriend, Albert Fine, could get the death penalty if convicted of aggravated murder, kidnapping, abuse of a corpse and other charges he faces.

Fine’s attorney, Dan Wightman, said he was aware of what his client is accused of doing to Hoholski’s body after she was dead.

“Whatever happened after death is separate from the murder charges that Mr. Fine faces,” he said.

Coroner Stephen Evans declined additional comment on the results of the autopsy, which determined that the 26-year-old Hoholski was strangled.

The file indicated Hoholski’s body was wrapped in garbage bags when it was discovered inside the container in a storage area of the Villas of Beau Monde apartment complex, where she and Fine lived, after neighbors complained about the odor.

A toxicology report noted that ethanol was found in Hoholski’s system, but Chief Deputy Coroner Frank Miller said that was likely due to decomposition.

Fine was arrested Aug. 9 in a Lowe’s parking lot in Lexington, Ky., and unsuccessfully fought his extradition to Ohio to face charges in the case.

According to court documents, Fine, 30, confessed to killing Hoholski during an interview Aug. 11 with Lorain police in a Kentucky jail.

He told officers that he hid in a closet of the couple’s apartment June 28 waiting for her to return so he could confront her about an affair he suspected she was having.

When Hoholski arrived, Fine told police, he choked her until she was “sleeping” and then bound her wrists with sex toy handcuffs, tied her ankles with a belt and gagged her with a bandana.

But Hoholski broke free of the handcuffs and struggled with him, Fine told police. He said he struck her in the face and choked her.

Fine also told police that he left the room to wash the blood off himself.

Lorain police Lt. Roger Watkins, who has previously quoted the law in saying that what Fine did to Hoholski’s body would “outrage reasonable community sensibilities,” declined to comment on what police suspect took place after Hoholski was dead.

But when officers searched the apartment after finding Hoholski’s body, they reported that it smelled of decomposition and that liquid had pooled on the pantry carpet. There also were blood stains on the bottom of the dishwasher and a blue trash can.

The kitchen sink and bathtub had both been “extensively cleaned,” according to police accounts.

After killing Hoholski, Fine allegedly used her cell phone to send messages that made it appear as if she were still alive. He also withdrew money from her bank account, according to police.

After Hoholski’s mother, Jane Hoholski, reported her daughter missing July 12, Fine told Lorain police that she had broken up with him the day before she was last seen.

Jane Hoholski told police that she last saw her daughter June 28 after they visited Catherine Hoholski’s daughter, who was born premature in March, at the hospital.

Fine, who is being held at the Lorain County Jail, is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.