The suspect in the murder of an 81-year-old Needham, Massachusetts, woman faced a judge Friday.
Tammie Galloway, 47, said nothing in court as she was charged with murder in the violent death of her next door neighbor, 81-year-old grandmother Laura Shifrina.
Investigators say it appears Shifrina was unloading groceries into her apartment on Linden Street in Needham on the afternoon of May 28, when Galloway entered the apartment, allegedly stabbing Shifrina eight times, breaking four of her ribs – before taking off with Shifrina’s car and about $3,000 cash Shifrina had been saving for dental work.
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Shifrina’s friend Aleksandr Yufa said, “It’s hard to believe that such people like the defendant exist.”
Prosecutors say surveillance video and DNA tied Galloway to the crime.
The prosecutor said, “It has genetic match of the victim’s blood on the defendant’s belongings, there is video surveillance of the defendant with and in possession of the victim’s car.”
“I don’t think she did it,” said Galloway’s aunt Vonzerella Huggins.
Huggins admits Galloway did come to stay with her and her partner Alicia Teixeira the same day as the murder, just around the corner from where Shifrina’s car was found in Dorchester.
Teixeira said, “I think that’s a shame and if she did it – I can’t see her doing it, but if she did it, God knows why.”
Huggins added, “All murderers need to be accountable for their crime so I just don’t think that she’s a murderer though.”
The arrest relieving some of the anxiety here in Needham.
“Relief I guess,” said neighbor Mitchell Newman, “She’s off the streets and she can’t do it anymore.”
Galloway is being held without bail and is due back in court July 28.
Investigators say Galloway has spent time in prison and has a long criminal record in multiple states.