RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A former Child Protective Services worker took the stand today in the double-murder trial of a Wake County man accused of murdering his in-laws and shooting his wife in the face and chest in 2014.
Nathan Holden, 33, is accused of the 2014 attempted murder of his estranged wife and murder of her parents in Wendell.
Anglia Taylor was shot to death in her home. Sylvester Taylor was found dead behind the home. Holden’s estranged wife, their daughter, LaTonya Taylor Allen, was wounded in the attack.
In court Wednesday, Allen recounted the attack.
She said she heard gunshots, her mother screaming and somebody running. She testified that she heard her mother yell out for her father, then more shots and running, and then still more shots.
She had hidden her children in a closet moments before Holden confronted her in a bedroom, she said.
Police said at the time that Allen had taken out a domestic violence protective order against her husband Nathan Holden before the shooting.
The two were estranged at the time of the shooting.
Larna Haddix, who was with CPS in 2014 and worked with Holden and Allen, took the stand Friday and told the court about the conversation she had with Holden in jail following his arrest and her experience working with the family.
Haddix testified that Allen wanted her at the protective order court hearing because she was frightened of Holden. Haddix said there were “allegations Nate was involved with substances” and she was told that substance abuse issues “caused his behavior to be erratic.”
Haddix saw Holden in jail two days after the murders. She told the court that she asked him how he thought the murders impacted his children. According to Haddix, Holden said no one worried about how he was impacted.
Wake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jeremy Evans responded to the scene of the shooting where he encountered the couple’s three children. Evans testified on Friday how the murders impacted Holden’s children.
Evans placed the children in his cruiser at what was still an unsecured scene. He said the couple’s son was upset and in disbelief, and the two daughters were hysterical. All three children told Evans their dad did the shootings.
Haddix testified that Holden blamed Allen for the murders and said the shooting was her fault because “she didn’t answer the phone” when he repeatedly called her.
When asked why he murdered his in-laws, Holden said “What’s done is done. They got what they deserved,” Haddix said.
Holden also blamed Haddix and CPS, saying that when they got involved they “got into things that weren’t their business,” she said.
Holden’s defense attorney, Elizabeth Hambourger, has not denied that her client carried out the attack. Instead, she said, the trial is about why he did it and his state of mind at the time.
“Nate Holden, he was responsible for the deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor and did shoot his wife,” she told the jury Tuesday. “What we want you to understand is how things got to this point.”
The court recessed for the weekend around 1 p.m. and there will be no more testimony until Monday.
CBS North Carolina will continue to follow this trial.