Crime & Courts

Jonathan Broyhill prosecution’s last witness is likely to be detective

Raleigh Police Detective Zeke Morse identifies the plastic packaging wrapper to an Oneida chef’s knife found in a backpack belonging to defendant Jonathan Broyhill at the Nation Hahn home in April 2013 as he testifies Thursday in Wake Superior Court. Thursday was the seventh day of testimony in the Jonathan Broyhill murder trial.
Raleigh Police Detective Zeke Morse identifies the plastic packaging wrapper to an Oneida chef’s knife found in a backpack belonging to defendant Jonathan Broyhill at the Nation Hahn home in April 2013 as he testifies Thursday in Wake Superior Court. Thursday was the seventh day of testimony in the Jonathan Broyhill murder trial. hlynch@newsobserver.com

Prosecutors in the Jonathan Broyhill trial told the judge on Thursday that Zeke Morse, the lead detective on their case, is likely to be their final witness.

Morse took the stand late Thursday morning, and Joseph Arbour, a public defender, was midway through his cross-examination when the trial recessed for the evening.

Arbour said his questioning of Morse was likely to continue through Friday morning. He also said he expected to call at least one witness and asked if he could schedule that for Monday instead of late Friday.

Judge Paul Ridgeway agreed. Arbour told him he thought it would take him one or two days for the defense team’s witnesses and evidence.

He did not say whether Broyhill would testify in his own defense.

Broyhill is accused of murdering Jamie Hahn and attempting to kill her husband, Nation, on April 22, 2013.

The three were inside the Hahns’ North Raleigh home late that afternoon when the frenzied violence occurred.

Nation Hahn, who got to step down from the witness stand Thursday after three days of testimony, said he was upstairs when he first heard screams.

In trying to establish a timeline, Arbour pushed Nation Hahn to offer painstaking detail about what he did when he arrived home from work the afternoon of the attack and about his actions before he heard screams.

Jurors became restless after Arbour asked question after question about how long Nation Hahn was in the upstairs bathroom and what he was doing there after changing into gym clothes.

On Thursday, Arbour closed his questioning of Hahn by telling him he thought the community service foundation that he and his friends had set up to honor Jamie Hahn was a good thing.

The defense team has acknowledged that Broyhill wielded the knife that fatally wounded Jamie Hahn and severely injured Nation Hahn’s hands.

They contend, though, that Broyhill did not commit first-degree murder. The defendant’s intentions that day, according to his attorneys, were to end his own life.

Morse, the Raleigh detective who interviewed Broyhill on the day of the attack and the following day, said early Thursday afternoon that Broyhill told him he bought the 8-inch butcher knife from a Harris Teeter “when he was having a down day” and “not thinking clearly.”

The purchase was on April 14. Broyhill told investigators he carried the knife in his backpack for many days.

On April 22, 2013, amid growing questions about financial irregularities associated with a campaign fund for former U.S. Rep. Brad Miller, that knife was plunged into Jamie Hahn more than a dozen times. The blade went all the way through her liver and severed an artery.

She died from the wounds early April 24, 2013.

Broyhill and Nation Hahn – two men who had befriended each other nearly a decade earlier at a Pentecostal church in Lenoir – were the only two who could elaborate on what happened that Monday afternoon.

After Hahn stepped down from the stand, Assistant District Attorney Doug Faucette called Raleigh detective Issa Smith to describe his interview with Nation Hahn shortly after the attack.

The two were together in a triage room at the hospital.

Nation’s hands were slashed with defensive wounds he said he suffered while trying to wrestle the knife away from Broyhill.

Hahn told Smith that Broyhill had been the best man at his wedding and that his wife not only had befriended Broyhill but also nurtured and mothered him for years.

Blythe: 919-836-4948;

Twitter: @AnneBlythe1

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