'My husband is here and he's shooting': Victim testifies in Wendell double homicide
LaTonya Taylor Allen returned to the stand Wednesday morning in the double murder trial of her ex-husband, Nathan Holden. The defense admits Holden, 32, shot Allen and her parents, Angelia Smith Taylor and Sylvester Taylor, on April 9, 2014, at their home in eastern Wake County. 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.Posted — Updated
The defense admits Holden, 32, shot Allen and her parents, Angelia Smith Taylor and Sylvester Taylor, on April 9, 2014, at their home in eastern Wake County. 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.
A big part of Allen's testimony Wednesday morning was centered about what happened in the weeks prior to the violent attack.
She said she tried to get a restraining order against Holden as he followed her around downtown Raleigh, yelling and threatening her.
Allen said she then got a call from a school resource officer at her son's school who said they had received information that Holden was planning to kill her and her children that day - a foreshadowing of what was coming a few months later.
On the evening of April 9, 2014, Allen said she was not feeling well and decided not to go to Bible study with her mother and two daughters.
Soon after they returned home from church, Allen said she heard Holden's truck pull in the driveway. She was laying in her bedroom.
"He was yelling in the living room 'Y'all don't want to talk to me today? Someone is gonna talk to me today.' And then I heard gunshots," she said.
Allen said she heard more gunshots and people running through the home when she attempted to get her children in a closet.
"I called the police and said 'My husband is here and he's shooting,'" she said.
Holden shot Allen in the face and chest before the gun jammed, then Holden beat her with the butt of the pistol, investigators said.
"I was down on the floor. I remember being down on my knees, and at that time I had lost eyesight in one of my eyes. He was still hitting me. He stood over me and shot me," Allen said.
She said that was the last thing she remembered until EMS workers arrived.
"I said, 'I can't breathe,' and I felt like I was on fire," she said.
Allen and Holden's oldest child, Jeremy Holden, took the stand late in the afternoon, but due to his age, the judge did not allow cameras.
He testified that he heard the fatal gunshots, and then hid in the closet with his sisters. He said he saw his mom covered in blood on the floor and called 911.
While the 911 call was being played in the courtroom, Jeremy hung his head and rubbed his eyes. His family members in the gallery were also emotional.
Jeremy also testified that he had texted a friend earlier on the night of the murders saying he thought his father was going to kill his grandparents.
Nathan Holden's attorneys say the murders were not pre-meditated, and that he was driven in part by the fear of his father-in-law.
If he is convicted he could face the death penalty.
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