Jury sentences Nathan Holden to life in prison without parole
Posted March 3
Raleigh, N.C. — After deliberating for just a few hours, a Wake County jury decided against the death penalty for Nathan Holden, convicted of the murder of his ex-wife's parents, Angelia Smith Taylor and Sylvester Taylor, in April 2014.
Holden, 32, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
A Wake County jury has not sentenced anyone to death since 2007, and a decision to do so requires a unanimous decision by all 12 jurors.
Holden shot and killed his in-laws and shot and pistol-whipped his ex-wife, LaTonya Allen, at their home in Wendell on April 9, 2014.
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.
In emotional moments following the verdict, Sharon Johnson, Angelia's sister, told Holden, "One bad choice made on one night has altered our lives forever," she said. "This has had a traumatic impact on many lives ... it has left a void in our family that can never be filled. There is no substitute."
Johnson went on to describe her older sister as gentle, compassionate and loving.
"She was someone who loved deeply, and she will be missed every day," she said.
Marktonio Royster, the son of Sylvester Taylor and LaTonya's Allen's half-brother, said losing his father and "Angie" was by far the worst thing he had ever experienced in his life.
Roister did not grow up with his father, but spoke in length about how he and his dad had become closer in his teenage years.
"My dad became my best friend," Roister said through tears. "We would talk in the mornings. Our conversations would normally begin with a laugh or something funny."
Roister said he now spends his mornings talking to God.
"That's the only way I've been able to get through it," he said.
Roister then addressed Holden directly.
"God loves you. Jesus loves you. He died and paid the price for your life. Submit to him and get your heart right," he said.