Man charged in Kelli Bordeaux killing to plead guilty

FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) -- The man charged with first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping in the death of missing Fort Bragg soldier Kelli Bordeaux is expected to enter a guilty plea in the case.

District Attorney Billy West said Nicholas Holbert has agreed to accept a sentence of life in prison without parole. He will go before Judge Jim Ammons Friday.

According to arrest warrants in the case, Bordeaux and Holbert arrived together at the now-closed Froggy Bottoms bar on Ramsey Street April 13, 2012 and were there for several hours.

The warrants state that the pair got into an argument in the parking lot and Holbert hit Bordeaux - knocking her unconscious.

He then allegedly put her in his car and drove to his campsite behind the bar. Once there, he hit her several more times in the head until she was dead.

Holbert - who worked part time at the bar - was a suspect in the case from the very beginning. He's a registered sex offender who was convicted as a 16-year-old of indecent liberties with a 5-year-old child. He's been in and out of jail over the years.

In 2012, Holbert told investigators that he drove Bordeaux home, but that she asked to be let out before they got to her apartment.

In an exclusive interview he gave to ABC11 right after Bordeaux went missing, he denied involvement in her disappearance.

The spot Holbert claimed he dropped off Bordeaux is about a quarter mile from her apartment on Water Trail Drive. He claimed he figured there might be someone at the apartment she didn't want him to see, so he left.

"Around one, one-thirty, she told me 'I'm tired. I want to go home.' I said 'Okay,' so we got in the car and as soon as I pulled into Meadowbrook, she said 'You stop right here and let me out. I'll walk,'" said Holbert.

"Did you kill her?" asked ABC11.

"I did not," said Holbert.

Bordeaux's remains were found in May 2014 about one mile north of Interstate 295 on River Road with Holbert's assistance. The shallow grave is less than a 10-minute drive away from the former Froggy Bottoms bar.

Bordeaux was assigned to Fort Bragg's 601st Area Support Medical Company, 261st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 44th Medical Brigade, as a health service specialist. Bordeaux, a native of St. Cloud, Fla., joined the military in April 2011. She arrived at the unit in November 2011.

She was age 23 when she disappeared.
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