November 26, 2014


Emotions boil over at William Dembie’s sentencing

A prosecutor's office employee holds back Leslie Gregg, of Brookpark, the uncle of Holly Dembie, during his outburst directed at William Dembie. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

A prosecutor’s office employee holds back Leslie Gregg, of Brookpark, the uncle of Holly Dembie, during his outburst directed at William Dembie. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — Holly Dembie’s uncle tried to charge her killer, William Dembie Jr., during a sentencing hearing Monday after Dembie criticized his slain wife’s mother, Cheryl Foldes.

“You know what, I’ve had enough! You cut her throat twice! You stabbed her eight times! You cold-blooded (expletive) killer… I’ve had enough of the (expletive),” Leslie Gregg yelled as members of his family and a staff member from Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will’s office restrained him and pushed him out of the courtroom.

Cheryl Foldes, the mother of Holly Dembie, yells during William Dembie's statement to the court. Dembie made numerous comments critical of Foldes and other members of his dead wife's family.

Cheryl Foldes, the mother of Holly Dembie, yells during William Dembie’s statement to the court. Dembie made numerous comments critical of Foldes and other members of his dead wife’s family.

Gregg’s outburst came just after Dembie had said that Foldes wasn’t putting the son he fathered with Holly Dembie first.

“Shame on you, Cheryl,” Dembie said.

“That is enough,” Foldes replied.

Dembie, 45, was found guilty by county Common Pleas Judge Mark Belteski earlier this month of murder, felonious assault and domestic violence charges for the Aug. 11, 2011, slaying of Holly Dembie at the estranged couple’s Cowley Road home in Grafton Township.

Betleski, who had cleared Dembie of a more serious aggravated murder charge, sentenced the former Lorain County Jail guard to 20 years to life in prison at the conclusion of Monday’s hearing.

RELATED: Videos from the sentencing hearing

Before that, the Dembie and the Foldes families painted starkly contrasting pictures of who Holly Dembie had been before the 2011 argument turned deadly.

Foldes, who called Dembie “evil” and a “monster,” said her former son-in-law had routinely abused her daughter. She said Dembie was a loving woman who worked with special-education students at Midview Schools and helped care for her own disabled niece.

A prosecutor’s office employee pushes Leslie Gregg of Brook Park, uncle of murder victim Holly Dembie, toward the courtroom exit Monday during his outburst directed at convicted killer William Dembie.

A prosecutor’s office employee pushes Leslie Gregg
of Brook Park, uncle of murder victim Holly Dembie, toward the courtroom exit Monday during his outburst directed at convicted killer William Dembie.

But Dembie wanted to get away from her abusive husband, Foldes said, because of how he treated her.

“She did not love or respect him,” Foldes said.

William Dembie and his mother, Doris Dembie, however, portrayed Holly Dembie as the abuser.

Dembie said that he met Holly Dembie in a bar as his first marriage was ending, and they quickly fell in love. He said she loved his three children from his first marriage and acted as if they were her stepchildren even before they were married.

But after their wedding, Dembie said, his wife changed, trying to drive a wedge between him and his older children. He described her as abusive and controlling toward him, but that he never got violent with her.

During the trial, prosecutors played a tape of Dembie talking to Lorain County sheriff’s detectives the night of the killing in which he made similar allegations.

On that tape, Dembie said he waited for Holly Dembie to return home from a night out with friends and tried to talk to her about their failing marriage and her desire for a divorce. He said at one point she pushed him, and he punched her.

Later, Dembie told detectives, he got a combat knife that he thought would compel his wife to listen to him. He said he became angry when she began telling him what he wanted to hear.

Prosecutors have said Dembie tried to flee her husband, who ended up pulling off her shirt somewhere in the house before she made it into a second-floor bathroom and shut the door.

Dembie told detectives that when he got the door open, Holly Dembie was trying to climb out of the bathroom window. He grabbed her, pulling off her pants, before stabbing her and letting her fall.

William Dembie listens as the judge reads his sentence. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

William Dembie listens as the judge reads his sentence.

He then went downstairs and stabbed her multiple times around her neck.

“I had no right doing what I did,” Dembie said Monday. “Obviously, I wasn’t thinking. I was in a place where I had no control over my actions.”

After killing his wife, Dembie said he called then-dispatcher Joi Sanchez at the Sheriff’s Office and reported that he had nearly beheaded his wife. He said until the trial he had never heard that call. During the trial, Sanchez said Dembie’s tone while reporting the killing was akin to him ordering a pizza.

But Dembie said his emotions were racing and that he planned to kill himself before deputies arrived. He only placed the call, he said, so that his son and Foldes wouldn’t come home and find Dembie’s nude body in a pool of blood.

Dembie said he ultimately decided against suicide because that would have been the easy way out and he wouldn’t be able to apologize to his children.

“I did enough damage for one night,” he said.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or

  • Brandon Light

    Suicide would’ve been much better all around. The world would have one less monster, while a caring, nurturing mother, daughter, and friend would still be spreading her sunshine.

  • luvmytoaster

    What a psychopath – he could have saved her family some grief if he would have killed himself……so we (taxpayers) are left to keep him alive, something that he definitely does not deserve – what a POS…… Maybe we should take lessons from the North Koreans – when they are found guilty execute them immediately!

    • ken

      I agree they should execute immediately but this country is to STUPID to do that. to many a$$holes!

      • Bret Zeller

        If you guys want to execute everyone, without sufficient due process, that’s fine. But I want the government to poll every citizen about whether they want to have these executions or not. That way, when you guys murder the wrong guy, which is pretty common, I expect you guys to be taxed directly for the settlement to their families, and not bring the state treasury into it. If you have to be thrown into the street in bankruptcy, that’s fine too.

  • Mark B

    Why does he need headphones ?

    • Macdaddyoh

      You serious? So he cant hear their comments.

    • S.A.

      I read in another article he’s hard of hearing, so he needs them to hear everything.

  • ken m

    shouda let the womans uncle get him in court…the perfect justice !!!!

    • Justin Milian

      the uncle is my father… im not kidding.

  • im heartless, so be it

    give him a couple months and they”ll beat him to death..

  • zdubb78

    Maybe just maybe……..she wasn’t the Glorious wife/Mother of the year that her family wants to make her out as???? That is why they get so fired up when the truth is spoken of her??????

    • Mark B

      Regardless , a woman should never be treated that way. If you dont like the way she is , divorce her and move on

      • billy

        billy crazy man crazy man crazy man.. insaneman insaneman

    • proccw

      are you kidding? so that would give him the right to do what he did to her?

    • Cheryl Foldes

      No, she wasn’t glorious, she was funny, witty, bouncy, smiley, happy and a wonderful mother! No need to get fired up unless you want to hear the truth about a wonderful person who was murdered by a sociopath, whom she was estranged from….ask her son who loved her very much and misses and talks about his mommy everyday.

    • guest

      You must be a Dembie sympathizer of murderers and wife beaters and child abusers to criticize a dead woman and the truth is that people get “fired” up when monsters rage on their victims causing irreparable damage to their children and the lives that are left to go on without them. Sympathize with care for someday it may be you on the end of a knife wielding monster and we will say when someone dare fight your your dead life that he wasn’t such a glorious man was he?

  • proccw

    give him back his knife and let him finish the job! just saying!

  • Elisabeth1981

    You’ve got to be pretty ill in the head to stand up and say a murderer is some great guy. SMH. Apparently you didn’t hear your son’s call to the sheriff’s office it was so cold and unfeeling. Hopefully she’ll never see her grandson again. She did such great job raising a monster. And then to speak ill of Holly when she is not here to defend herself. Beyond sick.

    • Cheryl Foldes

      She was as delusional as the “mad hatter” in Alice in Wonderland…lost somewhere in the forest of fantasy. Ask anyone….anyone….any….one!

  • Gregg

    People: I am family to the deceased. Everyone on this post is entitled to their opinion but to all of you posting hate: please remember their is an innocent and parent less little boy who will one day come back to these posts seeking answers. William is sunshine: he represents what is good in his parents and all of us.
    Murder is hard for us to accept when there were other options. Everyone can point fingers but in the end it’s still finger pointing: nothing solved!

    It’s easy to give into the hate but I challenge you to try wearing other peoples shoes .

    William (Holly and Bill’s innocent little 4 year old) in an instant…both parents gone……….need I say more?

    Holly’s mom : lost her only daughter. Never had an opportunity to fully grieve….sleepless nights …..2 year court ordeal…..stripped of the title “grandmother” and moved into the role of Mom.

    Amanda: (Holly’s blind cousin) no longer able to hear the voice that soothed her soul or feel the genuine touch of love that Holly shared with this child.

    Bill Dembie’s (family) forced to accept the horror of this situation. Having their lives turned upside.

    All of us at some point in our lives have dealt with tragedy……. But before we feed into the hate: please remember the child who lost both parents and the children who lost a father.

    As a Gregg……I will never fully understand death but I will continue to follow the values installed in me by my fellow family members. I will do my best to be the sunshine in someone else’s life just as my cousin Holly did in her’s . May all of you have a little sunshine in your life. Wishing all of you peace and a happy holiday. Good night!

  • Sandra Dembie

    I’ve just now coped enough w/ the anxiety, panic, and depression enough to relive/Google this nightmarish sentencing. Ill will and all bad things, bad luck, bad karma etc, etc, and etc were all vehemently wished upon the ENTIRE family and all our heirs at this sentencing and the reality is that I’ll never live w/out constant anxiety and panic…. w/out waking up in early morning hours…approximately between 1;30- 3:30 am every night w/ awful panic attacks. I know that this will bring some people (not mentioning any names) GREAT GREAT pleasure as they have blatantly wished…..So have your pound of flesh and ENJOY…. ENJOY…BASQUE….. knowing that the suffering is there… albeit mutual but you’ll never see that will you? and BTW…. our kids… Dembie(s), etc, are all doing great (we are all over achievers, and of great intellect) !! That pill may be a little bitter to swallow!!!

    • Guest

      You’re coping with the fact that your relative is a Narcissistic sociopath who committed murder and he will face his fate in hell. Use that overachieving intelligence to seek forgiveness for your part in the destruction of a beautiful person who did not deserve her fate at the hands of this murderer. He is a cold-blooded murderer and nothing less. He deserved a fate far greater than what he received; his reward is in hell where is most assuredly is going.

    • Guest

      Oh get over yourself Sandra and you’re not that intelligent or does Narcissism run in the gene pool?

    • Guest

      Pound this one for a fleshy meat pie. William Dembie is a convicted murderer and the judgment is in on that one. Killer, murderer, monster and evil spirited kin! Great intellect does not mean compassionate or caring or devoid of evil.

    • Guest

      Dear guest (Sandra Dembie), all of the anxiety is your guilt at having been such haters! Karma isn’t real, evil is. I am not experiencing anxiety because I have used my intelligence to be compassionate and caring and giving. Something you might add to your list of accomplishments in life when you acquire these social skills.

      • guest

        Look at what your brother was doing…you wonder why Holly wanted a divorce from this woman chasing weirdo…So I just looked all this up and its pretty creepy. It says that he called the police at 130am yesterday to confess and if you go to his page here it says he was on here yesterday bet he has a lady on here.. f*ing weirdo. Has me a little freaked out about being on hereHe was on date the day he killed Holly and he tells sheriff’s he went into her bedroom to talk about their failed marriage…yeah right! Why did you steal her wedding rings? Was it for one of his girlfriends? I hope they bring the wearer thief the most unfortunate bad luck possible. Cheers to the thieves who steal from dead women!!!!!

  • Cheryl Foldes

    Cowards don’t suicide.

  • Cheryl Foldes

    Dembie is a liar! He came to our house that night after the brutal slaughter of Holly to continue on his path to kill. His family says he came to visit us covered in the blood from his brutal attack on slitting Holly’s throat and leaving her lying in a pool of blood from her wounds, then he comes to our house still clothed, but hands washed. He breaks into our home (we were not home at the time), and he goes upstairs with a winter coat, turns on every light in our home, leaves handprints on the sliding patio doors which is in the rear of our home, but locked. He enters into the garage and slips past the dog. Fortunately we were not home and neither was his small 4 year old son. Upon leaving, he leaves a winter coat and muddy prints along our stairway, the coat is left in the shape of a T pee on the hallway floor. What was his purpose? A visit? Yeah right! He never got charged with breaking and entering, and he broke into our home. He had no right to be in our home when we were away. Just another lack of boundaries and no charges brought against him for the incident. We know what he came to do….what do you think I would have asked him had I saw him covered in blood? Would I have had the chance to ask anything? His version that he came to kiss William goodbye…bs! He came to commit more homicide on Holly’s family and his son. I don’t believe his version of events at all.

  • Cheryl Foldes

    To the guest who has panic attacks…the real victim of this man’s murderous, selfish act was that he never thought about his child in all of this. He kills the child’s mother and none of the family ever once had one bit of remorse that this small child is forever without his mother. What right did he have to kill the mother of his own child. He wanted to kill before and went out with a gun. I told him the effect that would have and that he would leave his children orphaned. Never could I imagine that he would turn his rage and his disappointments in life on Holly. Why didn’t he just leave or kill himself, he was so unhappy? No, he wasn’t depressed he was intimidating and aggressive and had to force himself on her. She was explicit in being truthful that the marriage was over and he was dating other women and searching for Beaver and “friends with benefits”. He had never been a partner that was loyal or devoted, his interests were always in other places. That’s why he couldn’t keep a marriage. He called his ex wife a toothless hillbilly who had rotten teeth and yet who was sitting in court defending him? Holly would have taught her child that murder was wrong, I told him this myself when he went out to kill his ex. This guy had mental problems and he needed help and when this family finally realizes that murder is wrong and accounts for his behaviors as unacceptable, then maybe their healing will begin. I’m tired of the excuses made for a situation that simply could have been resolved with a divorce. Self centered family never once thought about what this small child has lost….everything in his world gone! Maybe instead of having panic attacks because you’re angry that he is in prison you could teach your children not to mistreat their wives, how to have a monogamous healthy relationship, how to not steal and covet and learn some “golden rules” on how to treat others. Quit wallowing in your own self pity and do something constructive so that this never happens again to another loved one. Quit victim blaming, because Holly had a right to live. She had a right to be loved and on her conditions. Who the hell would think or excuse or ignore the fact that was William Dembie did was wrong. When guest can accept that he is a murderer who had made this choice to kill another human being and that he did it, then you will get relief from your conscience’s and move towards peace of mind. Your brother rejected God and that help for himself, so I suggest that maybe a professional counselor could give you some good meddies so that your anxiety could be suppressed long enough to think about someone other than yourself. Put someone else’s situation before your own for a change and let this little boy have peace after suffering so long what your family member did to harm his little heart.

  • guest This who Holly should have spent her life with; they were soulmates!