Inmate: 'He wanted to kill somebody that night'
Explosive testimony Tuesday afternoon rocked the sentencing hearing of Slade Woodson, the young man whose shooting spree terrorized a Central Virginia highway a year ago and who pleaded guilty in March.
"He told me he did stupid things when he got drunk," testified Matthew Kurdziolek, a former jail roommate of Woodson, the teen whose shooting spree shut down Interstate 64 and Albemarle County schools a year ago. "He told me he wanted to kill somebody that night."
The Albemarle Circuit Court was quiet as the convict who shared a room with Woodson at Middle River Regional Jail described what he allegedly learned about the evening of March 26-27, when Woodson, then 19, and Brandon Dawson, 15, fired into five cars on I-64, injuring two people, and into two occupied residences in Albemarle, as well as one in Waynesboro.
The two even had a plan, according to the inmate, that exploited Dawson's status as a minor. "They knew the juvenile wouldn't do any time," said Kurdziolek, who was clad in striped prison attire. "If they got caught, Dawson would say he did it."
Before the lunch break of the June 23 hearing, two victims of the shooting spree also testified. Domenico D'Auria told how his family was sleeping in its Greenwood Station house when a bullet suddenly tore through the walls. Since the incident, his four-year-old son, who was in the shot-up front room, can't sleep alone.
Julia Diggs revealed how she was on her way home from her General Electric job westbound on I-64 when she passed under Greenwood Station Road/Route 690. She said she saw some lights flashing on the overpass.
"I heard a bang hit the roof of my car," she testified. "I was was not sure what was going on, but my back started burning."
Although not seriously injured, the woman told the court she continues to feel unsafe driving at night.
The hearing resumed after 2pm, when Woodson's family members were expected to render a more sympathetic portrayal of the young man who used enjoy off-road "mud-boggin'" and described himself as “just a poor country boy tryin to survive.”