Woman pleads guilty to conspiracy charge stemming from Norfolk teacher’s death

Posted at 10:38 AM, Oct 30, 2018
and last updated 2019-02-19 19:14:38-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – 23-year-old Teniqu Cushman has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit first-degree murder in the death of a beloved Norfolk teacher.

Teniqu R. Cushman. The 22-year-old faces a conspiracy charge in the death of Caroline Hendrix.

Cushman will also have to testify at Edward Shaw’s trial and write a victim impact statement as part of her sentencing for the crime that was committed on New Year’s Eve.

Caroline Hendrix was a pre-k teacher at Oceanaire Elementary, but prosecutors say Edward Shaw mistook her for someone else and shot her twice. The bullets hit her in the leg, but traveled to her upper body, killing her. Prosecutors didn’t go into further detail on her injuries.

The prosecutor said Hendrix was in her friend’s car outside of a home on Virginian Drive. Shaw thought he was shooting Hendrix’s friend, but mistakenly shot her, the prosecutor said. Hendrix died at the scene.

Shaw, Cushman, and Hendrix’s friend were part of a love triangle, the prosecutor said. Cushman was not at the scene on the night of the shooting, but she and Shaw were texting, according to the prosecutor. Shaw texted Cushman that he had “shot him,” but also said he was shot. Police later caught up with Shaw in Chesapeake, where officers say he told them he was the victim of a road-rage shooting, but police later determined that to not be true. Police have said an acquaintance of Hendrix shot Shaw during the incident. The prosecutor didn’t elaborate during the hearing on how Shaw got shot.

The prosecutor said Shaw and Cushman had a “friends with benefits” type of relationship. Cushman also had a sexual relationship with Hendrix’s friend, but that relationship soured, the prosecutor added. Cushman texted Shaw that the other man “had to be gone” due to mental abuse from the man, the prosecutor said. Cushman’s attorney argued that was not proof she wanted Shaw to shoot the other man, but rather that she wanted their relationship to end.

Hendrix’s friend’s name was later found by investigators written in Shaw’s office, the prosecutor added. During the bond hearing, the prosecutor said Cushman “put the things into action that led to Hendrix’s death.” In the end, a judge denied her bond request. Prosecutors also added Cushman had a prostitution charge from 2015.

Cushman’s fiancé testified in the hearing that the couple is building a home and have plans to move in the next few months. He said the two had been dating on-and-off since 2014. After the hearing, he said he had “a lot to process,” but didn’t want to comment further.

Cushman will be in court for sentencing on April 12.

Shaw appeared in Norfolk Circuit Court for a hearing on Tuesday, February 19. The defense attorney requested a mental examination to be done for Shaw. He is scheduled to appear in court for a trial date on March 6 at 2:30 p.m.

Related link: 

Prosecutors in death of Norfolk teacher say suspects were part of love triangle; teacher was killed by mistake