Defense rests in Wendell double murder trial
Posted February 22
Raleigh, N.C. — As the defense rested its case Wednesday afternoon in the Nathan Holden double murder trial, closing arguments are scheduled to begin Thursday morning.
Holden, 32, does not deny that he shot and killed his ex-wife's parents and shot and pistol-whipped his ex-wife in April 2014, but his lawyers plan to argue that his rampage was not premeditated.
LaTonya Allen's three children with Holden, a 15-year-old boy and two 8-year-old girls, were in the home at the time, but they were unharmed.
The defense began putting on evidence Wednesday morning, shortly after Holden told the judge he would not testify in his own defense.
The defense called a few of Holden's family members to the stand, appearing to try to paint a sympathetic picture of the defendant as someone who loves his kids and believed his father-in-law was going to kill him, which pushed him to the brink.
Holden's cousin, Douglass Carroll, said that, after the shootings, Holden called him and asked him to pick him up.
"Before he got out of the car, he asked me to use my phone. He called his dad and told his dad, 'Take care of my kids. I love you,'" Carroll said. "He told me the same thing. He had tears in his eyes when he was getting out of the car."
Carroll testified that, at the time, he did not know of the murders.
Holden's father, Jamal Carroll, also testified in court on Wednesday. Out of the presence of the jury, before he testified, he apologized in open court to the families of the victims for their loss and pain.
Jamal Carroll remembered the phone call he received from Holden on the night of the murders.
"(He said) 'Take care of my kids dad, I'm out of here,' and hung up," he said.
Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Thursday morning, and the jury could begin deliberations as early as Thursday afternoon.
If convicted of the murders of Angelia Smith Taylor and Sylvester Taylor and the attempted murder of Allen, Holden could face the death penalty.