Mary Townes Holder was a graduate of USC law school and Chief Judge of L.A. Superior Court. In that capacity she oversaw 40 courthouses and 250 judges. She was a former prosecutor and a judge known for handing out maximum sentences. She was married to Mitch Lester, former criminal defense attorney.
At some point she and her husband began to engage in illegal activities. She used her position to conspire with David McSweeney and others to engage in jury fraud in at least four trials. In 2007 she was approached by Bruce Carlin, a private investigator working for defense attorney Jerry Vincent, about rigging the jury for the trial of Walter Elliot. She agreed to work with Vincent in exchange for a bribe of $100,000. McSweeney was placed on the jury with false credentials. When she was told that the FBI was talking with Vincent, she became concerned that her conspiracy might be uncovered, and she directed McSweeney to kill Vincent.
Following the murder of Jerry Vincent, she met with Mickey Haller to inform him that Vincent's practice would be turned over to him. She required frequent updates on the status of clients and cases, especially the Elliot case. When Haller uncovered the jury fraud, she directed McSweeney to kill Haller and make it look like a suicide. Haller was being watched by Harry Bosch and the FBI, and the murder attempt was foiled. McSweeney agreed to testify against Holder in return for no death penalty in his murder trial.