JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — An Onslow County man accused of killing his fiancée nearly three years ago has been found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Timothy Noble, 57, was charged with killing Debra Holden on Halloween in 2014. Holden was found dead in the couple’s home on Dawson Cabin Road and her death was originally ruled a suicide but later changed to a homicide.
Noble was also engaged to another woman at the time. According to the district attorney, Noble wanted to leave Holden for this woman but lacked the courage to do so.
Holden’s death at first glance looked like suicide, but investigators became suspicious when they couldn’t recover the bullet.
It was later found in Noble’s left leg.
“It was highly suspicious that we couldn’t find a bullet and then all of a sudden there was a bullet found in the victim’s left hip,” District Attorney Ernie Lee said. “So obviously we spent a lot of time proving that it was a bullet, and we also spent a lot of time proving that it looked like and was consistent with a bullet.”
Holden’s family describes her as devoted to her loved ones.
“She kept the family together,” Marty Coleman, her brother, said. “She took care of all of us.”
They say they’re grateful for the work done by the DA’s office as well as the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s not going to bring her back, but we think it was a fair process, and we got what we got out of it,” Coleman said.
In closing arguments on Thursday, the state reminded the jury of records taken from Noble’s computer where he searched for various poisons and where to buy them days before Holden’s death.