Local News

Jury sentences Nathan Holden to life in prison without parole

Posted March 3

— 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.


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  • Jeff Freuler Mar 4, 2017
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    If any one deserves the death penalty this animal does. I wonder if ibis skin color had anything to do with him not getting the death penalty

  • Maureen Mercer Mar 3, 2017
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    May he have a short life and donate his organs.

  • Mary Meadows Mar 3, 2017
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    I don't understand. According to some polls I have read the majority of NC citizens are in favor of the death penalty. Yet, time after time the sentence is not imposed. I'm going to have to surmise that the unanimous part is hard to overcome. This makes me wonder if the individuals selected for jury duty are being honest to the attorneys (and themselves) in regards to being able to render that sentence should the case call for it. Based on the proceedings I observed in the video and the facts surrounding the case I don't see a single reason why the taxpayers should have to support this POS for the rest of his natural life.

  • Kenneth Garrett Mar 3, 2017
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    WHEN is the State of North Carolina going to get serious about murder ?
    i just returned from a vacation in Singapore on the plane before you land they warn you if caught with a gun or drugs it is automatic death sentence .
    I'm sick and tired seeing the news every week with these useless deadbeats.
    I WANT TO SEE THE ELECTRIC CHAIR BEING USED AGAIN - I believe it will curb some of the murder rates. Now millions have got to continue to be spent on this JOKE ! ENOUGH !!!