A Hillsborough mother was shot 12 times before being found dead and wrapped in a comforter on her bedroom floor last month, according to an autopsy report released Thursday.
Police say 41-year-old Delila Nicole Westmoreland was killed by her daughter Jaydah Westmoreland.
Delila Westmoreland was a licensed registered nurse, who was working at the Durham VA Medical Center at the time of her death, according to a GoFundMe set up to support her husband Justin Westmoreland and three young sons.
She previously had worked at Duke Hospital, according to 2019 bankruptcy court filings.
Her 19-year-old daughter is charged with first-degree murder in the Aug. 14 death of her mother, and with kidnapping her 2-year-old sibling from the family’s home in the Bellevue Mill Apartments on South Nash Street.
The child was later found safe and returned to family members, police said. No one else was injured, although bullets also entered a neighboring apartment, they said.
Westmoreland is being held without bail in the Orange County jail while she awaits trial.
Police and prosecutors have not commented on a motive for the fatal shooting. A brief court hearing was held Aug. 15 to determine whether Westmoreland should receive bail and to appoint a public defender to represent her.
According to the autopsy, Westmoreland was driving her mother’s car when she and the 2-year-old child arrived at a relative’s apartment around noon Aug. 14.
Westmoreland told relatives that if “someone called looking for her mother that she was in the bathroom,” the autopsy stated
Around 7 p.m., Westmoreland’s brothers asked to borrow their mom’s car keys so they could go to the store, it stated. The brothers then drove to their mother’s apartment at 206 S. Nash St., where they found her lying on the floor in a pool of blood.
The brothers called 911 to report their mother’s death, according to previously released emergency calls. Delila Westmoreland was dead when emergency responders arrived, the N.C. Medical Examiner’s autopsy said.
Police arrested Westmoreland at a house in Durham, according to previous reports.
Had recently bought rifle
The autopsy noted that relatives told police Westmoreland, who lived with her mother, had bought the .22-caliber rifle recently and had made threats toward her mother.
Delila Westmoreland was shot seven times in the head, twice in the right arm, and once each in the torso, breast and thumb, it said. Investigators recovered multiple .22-caliber rifle casings from the scene, along with bullets and fragments.
The victim did not have alcohol or other substances in her blood, medical examiners said.
Hillsborough police called in forensic technicians with the State Bureau of Investigation to help with the investigation, it said.
Westmoreland, if convicted on the murder charge, could face the death penalty or life in prison. However, Orange County District Attorney Jeff Nieman has pledged not to seek the death penalty in any cases.
The kidnapping charge could bring up to 23 years and 3 months in prison, a judge said in August.