Crime

Jonathan Broyhill told Raleigh police he wanted to end his life

Murder defendant Jonathan Broyhill, center, confers with his defense attorneys Caroline Elliott, left, and Joseph Arbour, right, during a break in late afternoon testimony in Wake Superior Court Friday, March 6, 2015. Friday is the third day of testimony in Broyhill's murder trial for the April 2013 slaying of Jamie Hahn and attempted murder of her husband Nation Hahn.
Murder defendant Jonathan Broyhill, center, confers with his defense attorneys Caroline Elliott, left, and Joseph Arbour, right, during a break in late afternoon testimony in Wake Superior Court Friday, March 6, 2015. Friday is the third day of testimony in Broyhill's murder trial for the April 2013 slaying of Jamie Hahn and attempted murder of her husband Nation Hahn. hlynch@newsobserver.com

A Raleigh police officer who was among the first to respond to calls for help at the home where Jamie Hahn was fatally stabbed recalled his early conversations with Jonathan Broyhill for jurors on Friday.

Broyhill, 33, is on trial in Wake County Superior Court, accused of murdering Hahn and attempting to kill her husband, Nation, his childhood friend.

The frenzied knife attack on April 22, 2013, happened late in the afternoon, and Broyhill’s defense team has acknowledged he held the 8-inch kitchen blade involved in the violence.

Broyhill’s attorneys also contend that he did not go to the Hahn house, amid questions about his handling of a U.S. representative’s campaign account, intending to kill or harm anyone but himself.

But Wake County Assistant District Attorney Doug Faucette argues otherwise. He contended in his opening statement that Broyhill “selfishly murdered” Jamie Hahn and aimed to inflict serious injury on Nation Hahn.

The trial focused Friday on the testimony of law enforcement officers who investigated the bloody scene. Roy Smith, the Raleigh officer, recalled Broyhill telling him and emergency workers that he wanted to end his own life.

Broyhill had slashed wrists and a deep puncture wound to his abdomen when investigators found him.

The violence occurred, according to testimony, while Nation Hahn was upstairs in the home on Tealwood Place, where the couple often had Broyhill over as a guest.

Broyhill grew up in Lenoir with Nation Hahn and the two became friends in the Pentecostal Church they both attended.

When the Hahns married in 2009, Broyhill was best man at their wedding. He worked for Jamie Hahn and the political strategizing company she founded. The three vacationed together, often ate Monday night meals together and spent much time together at the North Raleigh home, where defense attorneys contend Broyhill snapped.

Prosecutors say Broyhill had been embezzling more than $45,000 from a campaign account for former U.S. Rep. Brad Miller. Questions about those funds were in a heightened state, prosecutors and defense attorneys have agreed, when violence broke out in the Hahn kitchen.

Stacey Johnson, a crime scene analyst who testified Friday, described the bloody scene inside and outside the house for the seven women and five men on the jury. She showed photos and video of the blood in the kitchen area, as well as the trail to a neighbor’s yard where Jamie Hahn collapsed.

Throughout the trial, Nation Hahn and family members have become emotional and teary-eyed as neighbors, law enforcement officers and emergency workers describe the scene from nearly two years ago. Nation Hahn left the courtroom, visibly upset, on Friday after hearing testimony about the commotion before the victims were transported to the hospital.

Defense attorney Joseph Arbour asked Smith, who rode with Broyhill to the hospital, whether Broyhill ever talked about injuring the Hahns.

“At no point did you indicate in your report that Mr. Broyhill made any mention regarding the attack on Mrs. Hahn or Mr. Hahn?” Arbour asked.

“He never made any mention of attacking Mrs. Hahn,” Smith replied.

“The only thing he ever talked about was wanting to take his own life?” Arbour posed.

“He made statements to Emergency Medical Services stating that he wanted to die and he wanted to take his own life,” Smith said.

The trial continues next week. Nation Hahn is expected to be among those testifying.

Blythe: 919-836-4948;

Twitter: @AnneBlythe1

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