Trauma doc describes injuries after ex's attack
Posted February 16
Raleigh, N.C. — On the third day of testimony in the murder trial of Nathan Holden, a trauma doctor described the dramatic injuries his ex-wife, LaTonya Taylor Allen, suffered in an April 2014 attack.
Holden shot Allen in the face and chest before the gun jammed, then Holden beat her with the butt of the pistol, investigators said.
Holden does not deny that he killed Allen's parents, Angelia Smith Taylor and Sylvester Taylor, and tried to kill her in their Wendell home, but his lawyers plan to argue that his rampage was not pre-meditated.
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.
Dr. Lori Lilley, a trauma surgeon at WakeMed, said Allen had a gunshot wound to her chest and appeared to have been beaten on the right side of her face. There was damage to the left side of her face that Lilley said appeared to have been from a second bullet.
Allen and Holden were not living together at the time of the attack. She and her children were living with her parents.
Allen spent eight days in the hospital recovering from her injuries," Lilley said.
"She was very determined to go to her parents' funeral," Lilley said. "I think she's a strong woman."
Before Lilley took the stand, a sheriff's office investigator described his interview with Jeremy "JT" Holden, the son of the accused and the surviving victim.
The boy immediately identified his father as the shooter, Sgt. Mark Seidenberg told the court.
He later described how he hid with his sisters during the attack.
"He heard his mother continue to yell, 'Stop, stop, stop,'" Seidenberg said. "He said at this point he was in the closet, and he heard a gunshot and his father punch her."
Seidenberg said JT told him that his father opened the closet, hugged his children and told them he loved them before calling 911 and leaving.
If convicted of the murders of his in-laws and the assault on his ex-wife, Holden could face the death penalty.