NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The man accused of killing a young mother and paralyzing a man in a shooting saw his charges certified to a grand jury in a Norfolk courtroom this morning.
Forty-one-year-old Curtis Smith is facing second-degree murder, malicious shooting and use of a firearm charges in relation to the Sept. 3 incident.
Smith was present for the preliminary hearing, but didn’t testify.
The court heard from the detective on the case as well as the 51-year-old surviving victim.
Through repeated technical difficulties, and at-times barely audible, the man answered questions from the attorneys through a video link. From a hospital bed, he told the court the shooting had left him paralyzed from the waist down — doctors aren’t sure if he’ll regain the use of his legs or not.
He said he and Smith had been hanging out at a mutual friend’s house that night, over Labor Day weekend. Smith asked him to go on a walk, and the two headed toward the Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza on the corner of Brambleton Avenue and Church Street.
There, they encountered the 24-year-old female victim, Precious McClendon, a mother of two.
“I knew Precious from the housing projects,” he said.
Smith had a brief interaction with her.
The surviving man said he didn’t know why Smith decided to pull a 9-mm handgun from his pocket and fire one shot into each of them. He had tried to run, and the bullet hit him in the lower back.
He said he lay on the ground for five to 10 minutes before people walking by saw him and called 911. That was around 12:55 a.m., according to Norfolk Police.
On the day he was arrested, Sept. 5, Smith was also charged with drug distribution and aiding in terror. Those charges were set aside in court, but he could still face them at a later time.