SPOKANE, Wash. - After appearing in Spokane County District Court on Monday, Nicholas Holden, who is facing second degree murder charges for killing his girlfriend, had his bond set at $1 million.
According to court documents, 30-year old Tina Stewart and Holden had been in a two year relationship. Court documents say that the two had gotten into an argument on Thanksgiving which turned physical. The couple fell asleep together later in the night, and at some point after that she died.
Spokane County Sheriff's detectives found that Stewart had been severely beaten.
"We can't celebrate Thanksgiving anymore," said her Uncle Don Estes. "Not in the way we did."
Family members at Monday's arraignment say that Tina was a special person that had a gift for working with children. She had been working at a daycare and had also been vice president of the parent organization at Browne Elementary.
"Our lives will never be the same without her," said Estes. "She may have weighed 95 pounds but her heart weighed a million."
Tina's family and friends are able to find solace in each other as they celebrate her life and mourn her loss, but as they do, they have a message.
"Domestic violence has got to stop people," said Estes, "speak up, speak up for Tina and the kids that get left behind."
Tina leaves behind two of her own children and the niece and nephew she had been caring for.
Holden's next court date was not set, but he has 30 days to appear in Superior Court.