Family Business Turns Deadly as CEO Kills CFO Over Dispute

Zachary Holston III, a 50-year-old Michigan man, and CEO of Kath Khemicals, a soap-making company, is facing second-degree murder and felony firearm charges after the death of his half-sister and CFO, Rita Evans. The tragedy transpired in the parking lot of their family business, located in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

At Holtson’s arraignment Wednesday, conducted via Zoom, a ‘not guilty’ plea was entered on Holston’s behalf. While his defense attorney admitted that steps had been taken to avert confrontation, the prosecutor asserted that charges were in line with what the surveillance video revealed.

The incident occurred on May 26, shortly after Holston was leaving the building. While he was heading to his vehicle, Evans, accompanied by her husband and daughter, came up to the passenger door.

According to reports, a confrontation regarding paperwork found in the vehicle began, seemingly triggering Holston to shoot Evans. Evans died later from her injuries at a local hospital.

Holston served as the Chief Executive Officer of Kath Khemicals, a company based in Sterling Heights. Additionally, Evans acted as the Chief Financial Officer, as stated in a release from the Detroit-based media outlet, WDIV.

Kath Khemicals, issued a statement on the situation, noting their pledge to contribute positively to the investigation. They declined to comment further, as it would impede the process.

In response, Macomb County Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido issued an official statement sternly condemning the use of firearms in any Macomb County dispute, encouraging peaceful resolutions outside of or in the courtroom. He additionally shared his sympathies for the families affected by the incident.

Rita Evans’ death is a stark revelation of the relevance of peaceful solutions in times of disagreement and stresses the importance of gun control. Our thoughts are with those affected at such a painful and challenging time.