The wrecked Ford Expedition SUV found on a Philadelphia block looked like a car accident to emergency responders, CBS Philadelphia reported.
But police realized it was more than just a crash when authorities found Terrell Bruce, 33, with a gunshot wound to his head a few days after Christmas in 2016, the news station reported. An investigation found that the real estate agent had been shot at point blank range behind the wheel, causing the SUV to crash into a Subaru, CBS Philadelphia and ABC 6 reported.
About a day after the crash, Martina Westcott, 28, who was described by Bruce’s family members as an estranged ex-girlfriend, turned herself into police with a lengthy explanation, ABC 6 reported at the time.
Westcott told police she and Bruce had been “arguing about their relationship” and whether to have a baby as they drove around the city’s Germantown neighborhood, according to Det. Gregory Singleton, Philly Voice reported.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Centre Daily Times
Westcott alleged “she didn’t want to” have a child with Bruce, which apparently upset him, Singleton said. Bruce allegedly raised his voice, scaring Westcott, and that’s when she picked up a gun that had been on the floor and pointed it at Bruce to “scare him,” she said. She said she closed her eyes and when she opened them, he was bleeding, Singleton said, according to Philly Voice.
After the shooting and crash, Westcott climbed out of the car and fled, witnesses told police, CBS Philadelphia reported.
Westcott said she didn’t think Bruce had died because “he’s invincible,” according to Singleton, Philly Voice reported.
On Monday, Westcott pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and other charges, Philly.com reported. But though she has admitted to killing Bruce, she still maintains she never wanted to shoot him during their fight, according to the newspaper.
“No, I didn’t mean to shoot him,” she told a judge in court, Philly.com reported. Westcott's lawyer said she’s “extremely remorseful.”
Bruce’s sister, Natalye Kirkland, told ABC 6 at the time of the shooting that her brother “did nothing wrong.” She now says she accepts the outcome of the case, Philly.com reported.
“She took someone who was great from this world,” Kirkland said.
Westcott faces up to 57 years behind bars when she's sentenced in August, Philly.com reported.