Lawyers argue for and against death penalty for Wake County murderer

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Nathan Holden enters court

The trial of a Wake County man who murdered his in-laws and shot his estranged wife in the face and chest entered the death penalty phase Tuesday.

The prosecution and defense made opening statements before the prosecution began presenting witnesses.

Nathan Holden killed 57-year-old Angelia Smith Taylor and 66-year-old Sylvester Taylor near Wendell in April 2014.

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He also shot his estranged wife LaTonya Allen as the couple's three children were huddled in a nearby closet listening.

RELATED: 2 dead in Wake County triple shooting near Wendell

The jury in the case found him guilty of first-degree murder and other charges Monday.

Prosecutors say Allen had filed for a restraining order and was working towards getting a divorce, but Holden refused to accept that the marriage was about to end. The couple separated back in December 2013.

"It's about hate. It's about selfishness. It's about hating someone that took something from you," said Prosecutor Jason Waller in his closing argument before the guilty verdict.

Defense attorney Jonathan Broun told jurors in his opening statement for the death penalty phase that Holden suffered a difficult childhood, and that his mother suffered with substance abuse and domestic violence.

He argued that his client does not deserve to be sent to death row.

"Nate Holden is a lot more than what happened that night," he said.

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