Tomi-Terré Selene Hollingshed
19 Years Old

February 10, 1979 to May 16, 1998

On February 10, 1979, Tommy Terrell and A.R. Selena Hollingshed received a precious gift from GOD...their namesake Tomi-Terré Selene Hollingshed. She was the youngest of four daughters (Tammy, Andrea, and Cynthia) born to the Hollingsheds. Being nurtured in a loving, Christian home, Tomi-Terré was taught to revere God and to always love and respect family and friends.

Tomi-Terré began her Christian journey at an early age. The late Rev. Collis O. Stewart baptized her at the Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church. She was an active member of the Sunday School, Silver Star Usher Board, Youth Choir and Celestial Choir. Tomi-Terré sang her first of many lead solos at the age of two. She participated in the first Rites of Passage sponsored by the Rev. and Mrs. Collis O. Stewart Scholarship Club. She shared her gift of dance with a beautiful rendition during the Mentors' Kwanzaa Celebration. She often worked with the church as well as her social organizations in preparing and passing out food baskets to the less fortunate. She willingly gave of her time and talents to support any church project or worthy cause.

Tomi-Terré attended the Coleman A. Young Elementary and Beaubien Jr. High Schools. She was the Outstanding Student of the Year at both her elementary and Junior High Schools in June, 1991 and June, 1993 respectively. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Cass Technical High School, as one of 1997's top three percent graduating seniors in the Detroit Public School system. She was the recipient of the Rev. C.O. Stewart Scholarship and the Wade McCree Scholarship. Throughout her school years, Tomi-Terré, an academically gifted young lady, received numerous awards and recognition for her academic excellence, even though she was involved in many extracurricular activities. She was involved with the AKA Teens, the Cass Tech Dance Workshop, Cass Tech Girl's Pep Club, and the Cass Tech Reader's Theatre. She performed in several of Cass Tech's and citywide productions. She was also selected to go on many trips throughout the United States. In August of 1996, she, along with the Dance Workshop, traveled to Paris, France and danced abroad.

Tomi-Terré was a beautiful, vivacious, compassionate, trusting, and kindhearted young lady with an innocent spirit. She was full of love and always put others needs before her own. There wasn't anything that she couldn't accomplish once she made up her mind. Her formula for success was Expectation + Preparation = Opportunity.

God was the source of her strength, which was exemplified by her favorite scripture, "I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me." (Phil. 4:13). Thus many doors were opened for Tomi-Terré. Although Tomi-Terré lived a short life, she lived life to the fullest. She accomplished things that some will only have the opportunity to read about. She will forever be loved and cherished in our hearts.


On May 15, 1998, Tomi-Terré met Carlos Williams at a friend's high school graduation party. Carlos Williams convinced Tomi-Terré and her two friends to follow him to another party. The young ladies followed him in Tomi-Terré's car to an apartment building. Williams and Tomi-Terré conversed outside of her car and began to walk down the middle of the street. A few minutes later, alarmed by her disappearance, her friends searched for Tomi-Terré. The girls got his license plate number and went to the 12th Precinct to report the abduction.

Williams had already brutally raped her in every imaginable way in the alley behind the apartment building. He placed her body in the trunk of his car and drove to a viaduct. He dumped her body under the bridge, doused it with gasoline, and set her on fire, alive.

In the wee hours of May 16, 1998, Tomi-Terré was brutally beaten, raped and burned alive. Williams fled to Alabama. After 36 hours, he finally confessed and told the authorities the location of her body.

Carlos Williams had two prior charges that were plea-bargained down to assault charges and one other rape filed but the victim wouldn't press charges.

August 31, 1999, Carlos Williams went to trial for the 3 sexual assault and murder charges of Tomi-Terré Selene Hollingshed.

September 7, 1999, the jury found Carlos Williams guilty in the first degree on all counts.

September 21, 1999, the judge sentenced Carlos Williams to maximum punishment in Michigan - life without parole.

back to 21

Tomi Terre Hollingshed