(BAY MINETTE, Ala.) - Wendy Wood Holland walked into court Thursday morning expecting a pretrial hearing on a child endangerment charge. Instead walked out in handcuffs charged with three new felony charges.
A grand injury indicted her on the child endangerment charge as well as sodomy of a child less than 12, sexual abuse of a child less than 12 and sexual torture.
The child endangerment charge is a misdemeanor and the other charges are felonies.
"We received additional information. We presented that to a grand jury in addition to the child endangerment charge," said Baldwin County Assistant District Attorney Teresa Heinz.
Holland is the aunt of Brittney Wood, the 19-year-old who disappeared May 30. Prosecutors say Wood is not the victim in Holland's criminal case, however four members of the Holland family have been arrested as part of the investigation into sex abuse charges.
Wendy Holland is the wife of Donnie Holland, who killed himself near his home just days after Brittney disappeared. Heinz said the new charges against Wendy Holland are tied to the ongoing investigation into the Wood family, but would not elaborate.
A bond was not immediately set for Wendy Holland. A pretrial hearing is expected on the new charges against her sometime in late January or early February.