Wendy Wood Holland was convicted in December of taking part in a horrific child sex and torture ring that spanned three generations of her Alabama family. On Thursday, she learned what the unspeakable evil of her crimes earned her — a prison sentence of 219 years behind bars.
Baldwin County Judge Jody Bishop required that the 35-year-old Holland serve at least 50 years in prison before even becoming eligible for parole.
A second defendant, William Brownlee, 50, who is a friend of the family, was also convicted last year of sodomy and sexual abuse. On Thursday, he was hit with the maximum 20-year sentence, one that Bishop called “not enough” for crimes against children that the judge described as “depraved, disgusting and sickening.”
The incestuous child sex ring run by the Wood family was exposed last year in the course of an investigation into the disappearance of 19-year-old Brittney Wood, who went missing after last being scene in the company of Wendy Wood Holland’s husband, Donnie.
Donnie Holland was later found dead, shot in the head. His death was ruled suicide.
Brittney Wood, who is Wendy Wood Holland’s niece, remains missing, and even though 11 people, including eight who are relatives, have been arrested in connection with the grotesque sex ring, police still have no clues as to her fate or whereabouts.
The case involved shocking testimony from underage victims of the Wood family sex ring, who described sexual abuse that began with their earliest memories and continued throughout their lives.
One teenage girl described engaging in sexual activity with numerous family members, including Wendy Wood Holland, as early as she could remember. She testified that her relatives engaged in group orgies that involved children, and sometimes included Brittney Wood as well.
Though defense lawyers accused the girl of fabricating or exaggerating her testimony, another male relative — who has pleaded guilty in the case — testified that he took part in group sex with the underage girl as well as Wendy Wood Holland.
Prosecutors said that the relentless sexual abuse was treated as a normal family activity.
“This is how they lived,” said Assistant District Attorney Teresa Heinz. “It was a part of everyday life. It was, go to the grocery store and have a threesome.”
But the abuse was often violent, as one underage victim testified that as little girl she was “held down and raped.” Wendy Wood Holland Holland was convicted of sodomy and sexual torture, as well as criminal sexual abuse and endangering child welfare.