BRIDGETON — Terrill Walker stood shackled and silent before a Superior Court judge here on Tuesday.
Tonette Shields said that is something she has looked forward to for years.
“I was so happy,” Shields said of Terrill Walker’s arrest last week in connection with the 2007 shooting death of her daughter Lanieceya Walker, 24, and wounding of her grandson, 14-month-old Nashir Walker. “I jumped for joy. I made up my own little dance.”
Lanieceya Walker died after being shot in the bedroom of her home at the Regency Court Apartments on South East Avenue in Vineland on Oct. 27, 2007, authorities said.
Terrill Walker, 32, of Charles Street in Vineland, is charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder of his ex-wife. He was arrested April 17 along with fellow defendant Raymond Finch, who is charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose, and certain persons not to have a firearm.
Terrill Walker said little during his 5-minute appearance before Superior Court Judge James Swift at the Cumberland County courthouse here. He told the judge he does not yet have an attorney. Swift ordered the defendant returned to the Cumberland County jail here to be held on $750,000 bail.
Finch is being held in the Polk County, Fla., jail after his arrest in Kissimmee, Fla. He will remain there pending extradition by Cumberland County authorities. Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said the speed of the extradition proceedings depends on whether they are contested by Finch.
Authorities in Cumberland County already have set Finch’s bail at $750,000.
Webb-McRae declined Tuesday to provide specifics about the shootings. However, authorities with the Police County Sheriff’s Office said last week that New Jersey law enforcement officials allege “Finch shot a woman and her baby while they were sleeping in their home.”
Shields said Tuesday that statements made to her by authorities indicate Finch did the shooting and Terrill Walker allegedly helped plan the incident. She said she is not certain why the shootings occurred, but she believes they were linked to Terrill Walker not wanting to pay child support for Terrill Walker Jr.
Shields said Terrill Walker and her daughter divorced in 2004. Terrill Walker Jr. is their son, she said. Nashir Walker is Lanieceya Walker’s son by a different father, she said.
Authorities said Terrill Walker Jr. was not at home when the shootings occurred. He was five years old at the time, they said.
Shields, 47, of Vineland, said she was sleeping in her daughter’s apartment when the shootings occurred. She said she was sleeping so soundly that she never heard the shots or saw the faces of the men who entered the apartment.
She eventually woke up to find her daughter and grandson had been shot.
“I was trying to help her,” Shields said of Lanieceya Walker. “She was lying on the floor. She was dead.”
Authorities said the shooting left Nashir Walker paralyzed, although Shields said she learned recently the boy is just starting to walk. She said she is trying to get custody of Nashir Walker and Terrill Walker Jr.
Shields said she works in human resources at the Vineland Development Center here. She said it is the same kind of job Lanieceya Walker held at the time of her death.
The jobs includes washing, feeding and helping residents at the center, Shields said.
“Working there has helped me get through all of this,” she said of the shootings and their aftermath.
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