BUFFALO, N.Y.(WKBW) - Charges were upgraded for 37-year-old Cuansharee Palmer of Buffalo. Police said Palmer was behind the wheel of the car that hit and killed her ex-husband, 39-year-old Donnell Sharp.
The incident happened back in April on East Morris Avenue, all while the couple's young daughters were inside the car.
She was initially charged with criminally neglect. Now she's facing multiple charges including one count of manslaughter to the 2nd degree, two counts of vehicular manslaughter, four counts of aggravated D.W.I. with a child, and two counts of endangering welfare of a child.
"This was domestic violence led to the death of an individual," Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said.
Palmer pleaded not guilty to the charges. It's still unclear what exactly led up to this incident. According to court records, Palmer was drunk at the time of the crash. Palmer's attorney, Anthony Pendergrass said she spent six hours with the victim before his death, she cared about the victim, and this was just an accident.
"It's hard for me to conceive that she would drive the victim from where ever they where to home. Then get the victim at home and do something purposely to him," Pendergrass said.
"She ran him over and dragged his body three or four houses down," Sharp's sister Marquita said Thursday. "But I believe this was done intentionally. I know this wasn't an accident."
Flynn said cases like this are difficult for his office. Children losing one parent to a homicide and the other parent potentially facing prison time.
"Children growing up without a father, growing up without a mother. You know being economically distressed. They somehow get into criminal behavior now and becomes a life cycle. That is a problem we face in society at a much greater degree," Flynn said.
Palmer remains out of jail on a $30,000 bond. She's due back in court for motion hearings in January and March. Jury selection for her trial is expected to start in April 2018.