Mother of slain Army reservist confronts suspected killer in court

by: Tom Jones Updated:

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ATLANTA - The mother of a murdered Army reservist confronted one of the suspects accused of killing her son as officers escorted him into court.

Quatravius Palmer, 22, faces murder charges after police say he and a 14-year-old boy shot 21-year-old Xavier Arnold a day after Christmas. The 14-year-old is also in custody.

Police say the gunmen tried to rob Arnold, his girlfriend and another friend as they walked along a bike trail in Kirkwood. Palmer turned himself in Wednesday.

As the officers walked him inside the DeKalb County Magistrate Court, Arnold's mother was right there and confronted him.

"I'm the mother that you sat there and you told that 14-year-old to shoot my son in the head. Now that you sat and thought about it was it worth it?" Nichole Villafane asked as Palmer kept his head down. "Was it worth it?"

Palmer didn't respond at first.

"He turns 22 next week," she continued.

"I'm innocent," Palmer said.

"No, you're not innocent, baby. You have too many witnesses telling everyone that you did it," Villafane responded.

Once inside court, Villafane sat with supportive family and friends. The judge asked Palmer to stand up and he told him why he faces murder charges.

"You attempted to rob the victim and your co-defendant shot the victim in the head, causing his death," Judge Alan Harvey said, reading from the warrant.

Arnold's friend was also shot. He was in court, as well as Arnold's girlfriend, who watched the shooting unfold.

The courtroom was packed with people from the Kirkwood community and people who loved Arnold.

After court Villafane explained to Channel 2's Tom Jones why she confronted her son's accused killer.

"I just wanted Palmer to look me in my face so he would see that Xavier had a mother. And I wanted him to see the hurt in my eyes," she said.

Palmer says he is innocent. Warrants indicate a witness saw both defendants leaving the scene. That witness said Palmer and the 14-year-old not only asked him for a ride, but admitted they shot Arnold.



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