Monday, November 29, 2021

Defense Attorney: Trial of Wendell Man Not a Whodunit

Nathan Holden walks into a Wake County courtroom on June 2, 2015, for a bond hearing in his murder case.

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— The trial of Nathan Holden, a Wendell man accused of fatally shooting his in-laws and seriously wounding his wife three years ago, is not a whodunit, according to Holden’s defense attorneys.

Investigators say Holden, 32, shot Latonya Holden, Angelia Smith Taylor and Sylvester Taylor on April 9, 2014, at their home in eastern Wake County. Three children in the home, a 15-year-old boy and two 8-year-old girls, were unharmed.

Smith Taylor, 57, was found dead inside the home, and Taylor, 66, was found dead in the yard, investigators said.

Investigators say Nathan Holden went back into the house, where his estranged wife and the couple’s three children were hiding in a closet.

Latonya Holden was shot in the face and chest before the gun jammed, then Nathan Holden beat her with the butt of the pistol, investigators said.

Elizabeth Hambouger, one of Holden’s defense attorneys, told jurors Tuesday during her opening statement that the trial is not about whether Holden committed the crimes, but why.

“What was done was completely out of character and done without deliberation whatsoever,” she said.

Hambouger said Holden was full of despair over his troubled marriage and believed his father-in-law to be dangerous.

After the shootings, Nathan Holden fled the scene, according to authorities, and was found near his home, at 3535 Holden Acres Lane – about 10 miles away from his in-laws’ home.

According to investigators, Holden opened fire on a K-9 handler and other deputies before he was taken into custody.

The trial is expected to last about four weeks. If convicted, Holden could face the death penalty.

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