Prosecution rests in Jonathan Broyhill murder trial
Posted March 16, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — After nine days of testimony and 15 witnesses, the state rested its case Monday in the trial of a man accused of stabbing and killing his longtime friend and colleague in her north Raleigh home two years ago.
Raleigh police detective Zeke Morse showed jurors the blood-stained 8-inch-bladed chef's knife that authorities say Jonathan Broyhill, 33, used to stab Jamie Kirk Hahn multiple times on April 22, 2013.
As Hahn's friends and family, including her husband, cried in court, jurors also listened to the emotional 911 call that a neighbor made minutes after the attacks. The 29-year-old had fled from her house on Tealwood Place and collapsed in another neighbor's yard.
She died from her injuries two days later.
Defense attorneys admit Broyhill stabbed Hahn – a Democratic fundraiser for whom Broyhill once worked – and cut her husband, Nation Hahn. But they say "something snapped" to cause him to attack them.
He meant to kill himself, they say, pointing to the fact he slit his wrists and stabbed himself in the stomach after the attacks.
Morse testified that Broyhill told him during an April 26, 2013, interview that he had heard voices telling him "to hurt other people" but made no mention of a possible motive.
"He never said anything about hating them, wanting to hurt them or having a grudge against them?" defense attorney Joseph Arbour asked Morse.
"No sir, he did not," Morse answered.
Morse also testified that Broyhill's minister – who had been at WakeMed with the Hahn family – never should have been allowed to have private conversations with him as he recovered from his self-inflicted injuries.
"It attacks the reliability of anything he may say to you at a later time. Isn't that correct?" Arbour asked Morse.
"Yes," he said.
"We don't know what was whispered to Mr. Broyhill?" Arbour asked.
"Correct," he said.
"We don't know all the information that was put into his head at that time?" Arbour continued.
"Correct," Morse replied.
Wake County Assistant District Attorney Doug Faucette has suggested a financial motive for Jamie Hahn's death and has said he feigned serious illness – including pancreatic cancer – to keep her from learning that he embezzled more than $45,000 from the election campaign of one of her clients.
Broyhill had managed the finances until Jamie Hahn had to lay him off in late 2012.
Broyhill also told other lies, witnesses have testified, and stole Nation Hahn's credit card number to book a one-way trip to Las Vegas on April 23, 2013. About an hour before the stabbings, however, he canceled the trip.
The defense has suggested during its questioning that Broyhill had planned to travel there to kill himself.
During opening statements, his defense attorney, Caroline Elliot, said he had become "so depressed and so despondent" because he struggled with being gay and being from a conservative Christian family.
He had also been estranged for more than a decade from his mother, Kay Broyhill, with whom he had had a close relationship for most of his life.
She briefly took the stand for the defense late Monday afternoon, telling jurors that she and Jonathan Broyhill grew apart after she and her husband divorced.
Prior to April 22, 2013, the two hadn't seen one another for more than a year and had talked on the phone only once.
They reconnected after his arrest and have since mended their relationship.
"I have visited him 41 times (since)," she testified.