Neighbors comforted a fading Hahn as she bled after stabbing
Posted March 5, 2015 1:39 p.m. EST
Updated March 6, 2015 2:45 p.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — Strangers comforted Jamie Kirk Hahn – propping her feet on a bag of leaves and wrapping a towel around her wounded stomach – as she lay bleeding in a neighbor's yard on the afternoon of April 22, 2013 – moments after being stabbed in the north Raleigh home she shared with her husband, Nation.
He was there, too, screaming and walking back and forth, as Angela Cabe, who had never met the couple, was on the phone with 911.
It was 5:19 p.m.
Cabe had been outside her home minutes earlier when she heard Jamie Hahn yelling for help and then saw her beating on the door of a neighbor's house.
When no one answered, the 29-year-old political strategist – known as a rising star in the North Carolina Democratic Party – crossed a busy street and fell into the front yard of neighbor Julie Harrell.
Wake County prosecutors say the Hahns – who days earlier celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary – had been attacked by Jonathan Wayne Broyhill, their longtime friend and the best man at their wedding.
He is on trial for first-degree murder and other charges.
"(Jamie) was saying, 'I love you,' and Nation was saying to her, 'We're going to have a lot more anniversaries,'" Cabe told jurors Thursday, at times tearing up as she described the events of that afternoon in the quiet neighborhood where she has lived for seven years.
Meanwhile, Harrell, a nurse, sat applying pressure to Jamie Hahn's stab wounds. Her clothes were saturated in blood from the waist down.
"She clearly said 'I love you' (to Nation) in a very southern drawl," Harrell recalled. "He was in the yard kind of frantically pacing."
He had been seriously injured. Harrell recalled seeing one of his fingers severely sliced.
"He asked her, 'Did you confront him? Did you confront him?'" Harrell testified, unsure of what he meant. "That's when she kind of – she looked over toward him and she started having a harder time (breathing)."
"I just told her to keep breathing, and she just started saying, 'I can't breathe. I can't breathe,' Cabe said. "And then, it was almost like a glazed over look."
Jamie Hahn lost consciousness on the way to WakeMed, Assistant District Attorney Doug Faucette said during opening statements Wednesday, and she died two days later.
Broyhill, 33, had worked for Jamie Hahn's political fundraising firm, authorities say, and had embezzled more than $45,000 from the bank account of former Congressman Brad Miller.
In addition to stealing the money, Faucette said, Broyhill lied to his friends about having pancreatic cancer and other health problems to keep his former boss from pressing him on financial matters related to the campaign.
Broyhill admitted to taking an 8-inch-bladed chef's knife that had been concealed in his backpack to the Hahns' home, but defense attorneys say "something snapped" before the attacks.
"He had no motive to kill those he loved," defense attorney Caroline Elliot told jurors Wednesday. "This case is a tragedy committed by a sick person who was ready to end his own life."
Broyhill, who struggled with being gay and was estranged from his mother, had become "so depressed and so despondent," Elliot said, that he had planned to commit suicide.
Raleigh police officer Roy Smith testified that he found Broyhill at the Hahns' home – he had slit both his wrists and stabbed himself in the stomach after the attacks.
"Mr. Broyhill was very quiet," Smith said, of the ambulance ride to WakeMed. It wasn't until the EMS worker caring for him asked what had happened that he started to cry.
"Mr. Broyhill's response was, 'I just want to die,'" Smith said.
The state says Broyhill "selfishly murdered" Jamie Hahn.
One of only three people authorized to write checks for the Miller campaign committee, Faucette said Broyhill wrote 39 checks from 2011 to 2013, leaving a negative account balance.
Miller's campaign treasurer testified that it wasn't until after the attacks that he learned of the campaign's financial problems, and he wasn't aware if Jamie Hahn had any idea about them.
Debt collector Charles Williford said she appeared to be taken aback when informed her April 15, 2013, that a campaign check for $591.10 had bounced.
"She seemed very, very surprised that the money wasn't there," Williford said. "I could tell she was telling the truth."
She wanted to double-check with the bank and get back with him, Jamie Hahn said in a recording of the conversation. She thought there should have been plenty of money in the account.
As jurors listened, her husband and other family members sat crying.