A Tennessee man stunned witnesses at his murder trial when he abruptly confessed to the crime, all thanks to a song from a Christian worship band.
In 2016, Danny Holmes kidnapped a woman named Brittany Johnson, forcing her to drive him to the home of Cesar Lopez-Flores in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. There, he fatally shot Lopez-Flores and fled, leaving Johnson at the scene. Nearly three years later, Holmes’ trial was set to go forward on Friday.
However, just minutes after the trial began, he confessed to the killing and pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, kidnapping, impersonating a member of law enforcement and robbery.
The reason behind Holmes’ confession left the court stunned.
“I knew the Lord was just on me, weighing on me over and over,” he said, according to the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal.
Holmes explained that over a year ago, God changed his life. He had been transformed and was now ready to take responsibility for what he had done. As a part of his explanation, the 30-year-old read out the lyrics of the song “Reedemed,” written and performed by the Christian band “Big Daddy Weave.”
— Mike Weaver (@mikedaddyweave) March 23, 2013
Holmes read the lines, “Then You look at this prisoner and say to me, ‘Son, stop fighting a fight that’s already been won,'” aloud from a notebook, adding, “If I didn’t want to tell the truth, I should’ve never brought that notebook.”
He declared that his life was forever changed by Jesus and that he would serve his life sentence while also learning to serve the LORD.
“My consequences deserve a life sentence,” he said. “I’m 30-years-old, and I’ve been fighting for nothing all my life. I’ve been fighting for gangs. I ain’t never fought for anything that made sense. But I knew the Lord was telling me to fight for him this time. I just knew he was stirring on my spirit.”
“Momma, you know I love you,” he said, addressing his mother in the courtroom. “Momma, I promise you, your baby boy, he’s going to serve the Lord forever.”
Holmes also said that he is praying for the victim’s family and deeply regrets that he took Lopez-Flores away from his three daughters, according to the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. While he serves his sentence, Holmes said he hopes to inspire other prisoners with the hope that only God can offer.
Mike Weaver, the frontman of Big Daddy Weave, told Christianity Today that he was “blown away” when he learned of Holmes’ testimony and confession.
“Over the last handful of years, so many stories have come from God using that song,” the singer added. “From the moment we started singing it, the stories started coming forward.”
The Christian artist said the song stemmed from a deeply personal place in his heart. He had written it as a way of working through his own struggle with self-hatred and guilt.
“I told Jesus everything I hated about myself, and he told me that’s not the way he feels about me.”
The song’s chorus celebrates the freedom that anyone — even a career criminal, a murderer, a thief — can find in Jesus.
“I am redeemed, you set me free / So I’ll shake off theses heavy chains, and wipe away every stain / Now I’m not who I used to be.”
“It is a message that is so dear to [God’s] heart,” Weaver said.
The band gave all the glory to God, saying “Only Jesus can use a song in that way.”
Weaver told Christianity Today that he and the co-writer of “Redeemed,” Benji Cowart, plan to visit Holmes in prison.
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