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Medical examiner describes victim's injuries in Wendell double homicide

After a week of testimony, the state wrapped up its case Tuesday afternoon in the Nathan Holden murder trial.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — After a week of testimony, the state wrapped up its case Tuesday afternoon in the Nathan Holden murder trial.

Investigators said Holden, 32, shot and killed his ex-wife's parents, and shot and pistol whipped his ex-wife in April 2014.

Holden does not deny that he killed Angelia Smith Taylor and Sylvester Taylor, and tried to kill LaTonya Allen in their Wendell home, but his lawyers plan to argue that his rampage was not premeditated.

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.

On Tuesday, the state focused on the physical evidence at the crime scene.

Prosecutors showed the jury the gun that was used in the shootings and said at one point the gun jammed, likely saving Allen's life.

"The slide could have been snagged on something that would prevent it from coming all the way forward," said Elizabeth Wilson with the State Bureau of Investigation.

Jurors also got to see items of clothing they say Holden wore during the crimes.

In the afternoon, Dr. Craig Nelson, associate chief medical examiner, took the stand.

He testified that Sylvester Taylor had been shot multiple times.

"He had been shot at least four times," Nelson said. "The totality of his gunshots resulted in injured of his lungs, his spleen, his stomach, his liver and his intestines."

Nelson also provided some detail about Angelia Taylor's cause of death.

"Her cause of death was penetrating gunshot wound to the chest," he said. "A bullet passed through the heart, limiting the heart's function to pump blood to other parts of the body."

The defense was expected to put on evidence beginning Wednesday.

If convicted of the murders of his in-laws and the assault on his ex-wife, Holden could face the death penalty.

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Amanda Lamb, Reporter
Chad Flowers, Photographer
Natalie Matthews, Web Editor

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