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Norfolk witnesses testify against man who confessed to killing 3 people in 2 cities

The man who admitted to going on a Hampton Roads killing spree in March appears in Virginia Beach court
Posted at 4:10 PM, Sep 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-22 18:35:10-04

*Some details in this story may be disturbing*

NORFOLK, Va. - The man accused of going on a killing spree in March appeared before a Norfolk judge Thursday morning.

Shortly after his arrest, Cola Beale admitted to our cameras from jail that he killed three people.

During his hearing in Norfolk court Thursday, we heard about one of those deaths.

Our cameras were allowed inside the courtroom, but we were not allowed to record audio.

Two investigators with the Norfolk Police Department testified what they saw when they found Beale's cousin Downing McLean, 32, dead inside a Norfolk apartment on Sewell's Point Road on March 28, 2022.

They said they found McLean's body inside the kitchen.

One officer said, “The body looked like it had been there for a while…the blood was dried. It was not fresh. There was a lot of blood on the floor.”

Inside the courtroom, the investigators' testimony matched Beale's jailhouse confession to News 3.

During that jail interview, Beale told News 3 he shot McLean in the head after the two got into an argument.

"I got fed up with him because he didn't think I was helping him, so I said, 'Man, I just killed two people... do you think I'm not ready to shoot again?'" Beale said behind bars. "I went right in the kitchen, shot him in the head. He didn’t drop and kept moving, so I shot him in the back to make sure he hit the ground."

Thursday, the investigator said, "[Beale] said he was there at the apartment with McLean and was there to shoot someone else on behalf of McLean.”

McLean was the third and final victim during the alleged three-day killing spree spanning two cities.

Two days before McLean's death, Beale admitted to fatally shooting his own girlfriend Czavi'er Hill, 31, and later setting her house on fire, killing the dog.

The next day, Beale said he shot his 73-year-old adopted father, Clifton Baxter, in the head. Those murders both happened in Virginia Beach.

Beale told detectives he used the same 9mm gun in all three murders.

Beale also confessed he planned on killing more people before being caught by U.S. Marshals.

This case now goes to a Norfolk grand jury.

Beale's next court date is in Virginia Beach on October 12.