Crime

Nathan Holden’s murder case has gone to the jury

Nathan Holden is on trial for murder of his in-laws, Angelia and Sylvester Taylor, and attempting to kill his estranged wife, Latonya Holden.
Nathan Holden is on trial for murder of his in-laws, Angelia and Sylvester Taylor, and attempting to kill his estranged wife, Latonya Holden.

A jury will resume its deliberations Friday to determine the fate of Nathan Holden, a 32-year-old man accused of murdering his in-laws and attempting to kill his wife.

The jurors had not returned from an early afternoon break when Holden, outfitted in an orange and white-striped jail jumpsuit, told Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway that he was not guilty and objected to the trial. Throughout the week-long trial, Holden has claimed the state has no sovereignty over him and referred to himself as “the I,” and “the entity formerly known as Nathan Holden.”

Ridgeway told Holden that his objections were noted.

Holden could be put to death or spend the rest of his life in prison without parole if the jury finds him guilty of first-degree murder. At the onset of the trial, Elizabeth Hambouger, a member of Holden’s defense team, said her client did the shootings and beatings he is accused of but that the crimes were not premeditated, so he cannot be guilty of first-degree murder. He did not testify.

Holden’s marriage unraveled in 2013, and his wife, Latonya Holden, moved back to her parent’s home with the couple’s three children in January 2014. That month, Latonya Holden told a Wake County judge that her husband had threatened to hurt her and their children, and she was granted a domestic violence protective order.

Prosecutors say on April 9, 2014, Holden went to the Wendell home of his in-laws, Sylvester and Angelia Taylor, and shot Angelia Taylor first while one of his children watched. Then he shot Sylvester Taylor, fatally wounding him as he came running toward the house from the yard.

While hearing pleas for help from her mother, and shots fired close by, Latonya Holden huddled her children, then ages 8, 9 and 15, inside a bedroom closet and told them to stay there.

Holden went into the bedroom and hit his wife on the head with the butt of his gun. Then he fired a shot at her face. The bullet struck Latonya Holden’s tooth, an obstacle that likely prevented a fatal wound to the head, Waller said.

The jury began deliberations just before 4 p.m. Thursday. They returned to the courtroom after an hour and asked the judge if they could obtain transcripts of Latonya Holden’s testimony of what happened on the night of the shootings.

Ridgeway denied the jurors’ request, saying the court transcripts were not yet ready. He asked them to “recall the evidence and all reasonable inferences therefrom.”

The jury deliberations will resume Friday at 9:30 a.m.

Thomasi McDonald: 919-829-4533, @thomcdonald

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