Waukesha man charged in homicide for using hatchet to kill Timothy Minkley

Published on: 9/21/2015

Philip N. Holland told police he went into "kill mode."

In a detailed criminal complaint filed on Sept. 21, Holland, 57, confessed to police the brutal way in which he killed a 45-year-old Waukesha man inside a downtown apartment a week earlier.

Holland, whose address is listed as 120 Corrina Blvd., was charged with first-degree intentional homicide after admitting to police he murdered Timothy Minkley by striking him in the head several times with a hatchet.

Court Commissioner Thomas Pieper set Holland's bond at $1 million on Sept. 21.

If convicted, Holland faces life in prison. In addition, he is also charged with misdemeanor theft and possessing/illegally obtaining a prescription for stealing pills owned by Minkley.

According to the complaint, Minkley's uncle contacted police after finding his nephew lying in a pool of blood and not breathing inside his apartment at 402 Wisconsin Ave. at 7:20 p.m. Sept. 14.

Detailing the killing

Police found Minkley dead lying face down in the living room. Police said it appeared Minkley had several wounds to the back of his head that appeared to have been caused by a sharp object.

Police found text messages from Minkley and Holland, known as "Nicky," the last of which came during the evening of Sept. 13. A detective placed a call to the number and it went to voicemail with a male's voice identifying himself as "Nick Holland."

In an interview with police, Holland said during the evening of Sept. 13 he went to Minkley's apartment with some "weed" and the two smoked it. Because Minkley was acting "goofy," Holland said he took a hatchet he found by the front door and slid it under the couch.

The two then went to sleep in separate rooms. When Minkley woke up late for work, he blamed Holland for not setting the alarm, Holland said, who was standing face to face with Minkley and thought Minkley was going to hurt him. (Holland at first claimed Minkley was holding a pocket knife, but later admitted he was unarmed, according to the complaint.)

Holland then began striking Minkley in the head with the hatchet.

According to the complaint, Holland said Minkley didn't fall to the ground immediately, which he said "gave me the opportunity to move to the side of him and hit him again toward the back of his head. I hit him a couple more times. By then, I knew I had done enough that I was sure he would die."

Holland said the noises that came from the strikes were noises he would never forget.

He then wrapped the hatchet in a towel and left the residence. He rode his bicycle through downtown Waukesha, trying to avoid any cameras, and threw the hatchet in the Fox River.

Weed for pills

When confronted about inconsistencies in his story, Holland began to cry and hugged detectives. Holland said the reason he initially said Minkley was armed was because he felt it would justify the killing.

Asked by police why he didn't just leave when Minkley was so angry, Holland said Minkley got on his nerves and his male ego made him stay.

Holland also said he gave Minkley weed in exchange for Clonazepam pills. Holland admitted he spent the night at Minkley's apartment in the hopes of getting more pills from him and said he later snorted them.

Holland said after he killed Minkley, he took the pills from under Minkley's mattress and took them to his residence.

Other statements

During the investigation, a 54-year-old woman, identified as Holland's former girlfriend, said Holland came to her residence in the 300 block of Wisconsin Ave. on Sept. 13, saying he needed "some weed to mend fences with another guy, and that if the weed did not work something else would happen."

The woman said Holland called her shortly after 9 a.m. Sept. 14, saying "if the police come and question me, I haven't seen him." The woman added Holland told her on Sept. 15, the day after the murder, he had "gone to see Tim on Sunday night (Sept. 13)."

Holland's 57-year-old girlfriend also told police that when she and Holland were eating dinner on Sept. 14, Holland said she was going to hear about "something on the news regarding a homicide in Waukesha and that the guy died from head trauma."

His girlfriend told police Holland said he was only defending himself and the other guy attacked him with a hammer.

Holland's next court appearance is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Waukesha County Courthouse.