NORFOLK, Va. – The man accused of shooting five women, killing three of them, in Norfolk’s Young Terrace neighborhood in November, appeared in court for a preliminary hearing Wednesday.
Ziontay Palmer faces three counts of second-degree murder and malicious wounding, among other charges.
Tina Hines is Lovewine’s older sister.
“He took three lives that wasn’t his,” Hines said. “They was innocent. He’s definitely wrong for what he did. One of them was my only sister, my baby sister. She was a mother, a friend, a sister, an aunt. She was beautiful. None of them deserved none of that.”
Shazelle Marie Dixon, 39, and Angel Legrande, 19, were wounded that horrific day in Young Terrace. Legrande’s mother, Lovewine, was a bystander who was shot and killed as she tried to protect her daughter from the gunfire.
In court Wednesday, the judge was shown a video of the shooting where a woman could be heard screaming. Palmer declined to watch the video.
“It’s emotional; it hurts to hear her voice,” said Cynthia Hines, Lovewine’s niece. “The evil is all over him. You can see. You can witness it. You will know it if you see him. He showed no remorse.”
Lovewine’s daughter, Legrande, was dating Palmer and was pregnant with his child at the time of the shooting. Their baby girl was born last month.
According to family members, Legrande and the baby are doing OK.
“It’s hard on the family a little bit because we know who the father is and we know what the baby father did,” said Tina Hines. “But we’re going to love the baby with open arms because [she’s] an innocent, beautiful baby girl.”
Palmer’s lawyer Eric Korslund said his client maintains his innocence. Korslund also confirmed that Palmer and Legrande have been in contact.
“He’s very sympathetic to her,” said Korslund. “He’s sympathetic to everybody involved, but I need to say, he’s not admitting that he’s the shooter in this case.”
Dixon, one of the survivors, was visibly shaken when she testified Palmer shot her in the face at close range and then shot her again in the back.
Dixon claims she heard gunshots and ran out of her house to see Costine running to help Lovewine. That’s when Dixon said she saw Palmer run over to Costine and kill her.
“We don’t know what his motive was,” Hines said. “We don’t even know him, but for him to take three lives like that, it’s sad.”
Lovewine’s family said they hope Palmer spends the rest of his life behind bars. The left his family with a message.
“We forgive him,” Cynthia Hines said. “We forgive him and our condolences go out to them as well because they’re also losing a loved one.”
Two charges were dismissed Wednesday: One count of malicious wounding and one firearm charge. The defense attorney said both charges could be brought back; additionally, Palmer could face more charges at a later date.
The defense attorney believes Palmer's case will be brought before a grand jury in two to three weeks.