Jury begins deliberations in Jonathan Broyhill murder trial

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Jonathan Broyhill enters court

The jury began deliberations just before 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Jonathan Broyhill murder trial.

In his closing arguments Wednesday morning, Assistant Public Defender Joseph Arbour told the Raleigh jury that Broyhill did not go to the home of Jamie Hahn and her husband Nation in April 2013 with the intention of killing her or hurting Nation.

"This was not premeditated. This was not deliberate," he said.

Broyhill is charged with first-degree murder for stabbing Jamie and attempted first-degree murder for attacking Nation with an 8-inch kitchen knife.

Prosecutors say Broyhill worked for Jamie who was a prominent North Carolina Democratic Party strategist as a bookkeeper. Broyhill was also a childhood friend of Nation's and served as best man at the couple's wedding.

But Broyhill spent years deceiving the Hahns, claiming he had several diseases including multiple sclerosis, required gall bladder surgery, and had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He also embezzled more than $46,500 from the campaign of Congressman Brad Miller - which Jamie was responsible for running.

It was at a meeting at the Hahn's home where Jamie was confronting Broyhill about the missing money that the stabbings occurred.

Prosecutors say Broyhill purchased the knife before the attacks and that shows premeditation. The defense says Broyhill planned to commit suicide at the home and likely snapped when Jamie tried to intervene.

"Jon was a man who lived in quiet desperation for a long time," said Arbour. "Life was no longer an option for him."

Arbour said Broyhill genuinely cared about the victims.

"Two people that Jon probably cared about most in the world were part of a tragedy that day," he said.

Arbour said he didn't call Broyhill to testify because he said nobody would believe him after all the lies he's told, but he said the fact that he intended to commit suicide is obvious because after the attacks he turned the knife on himself - deeply cutting his wrists and abdomen.

"He's going to kill someone to try and get away with something for which he would only serve 6-8 months in prison?" said Arbour of the embezzlement accusations.

Arbour said the defense does not dispute that Broyhill attacked the Hahns, but he's arguing for the lesser charge of second-degree murder.

In his closing argument, Assistant Wake County District Attorney Doug Faucette asked if Broyhill didn't intend to attack the Hahns, then why did he research travel plans and purchase an Amtrak ticket for the next day?

He said Broyhill only decided to kill himself when he realized that the Hahns were able to get out of the house and alert neighbors.

Faucette played part of Broyhill's confession for the jury in which he admitted stabbing Jamie in the back as she was seated - contradicting a defense theory that she was stabbed as she tried to intervene in Broyhill's suicide.

"There is no evidence the defendant was incited into killing Jamie," said Faucette.

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