Norman gets life for attack on Maypearl girl
By 07/31/2003 00:00:00
The Ellis County Press
WAXAHACHIE - A jury in the 40th District Court sentenced Corey Shane Norman, 21, to life in prison Friday morning after finding him guilty Thursday afternoon in the attempted capital murder of his former girlfriend.
Sheriff's deputies quickly regained control of the defendant, forcing him to sit down, and placed a hand over his mouth to silence him after he stood up and began verbally attacking his now 17-year-old Maypearl victim with obscenities as she read a victim's statement before the court.
He will be required to serve at least 30 years before being eligible for parole for the first-degree felony.
Charles Barton, the victim's father, said his
family was, 'Satisfied with the verdict. It's what we were wanting.'
Barton said he was pleased with District Attorney Patrick Wilson's work during the trial, but in the beginning he had his doubts if the case would make it to trial.
He said the DA previously asked him if he would agree to a plea bargain on a lesser charge, which Barton and his daughter refused..
Norman attacked the girl in Oct. 7, 2002, approximately two months after the couple broke off their two-year relationship.
Sixteen-years-old at the time of the attack, the victim said Norman knocked on her window and asked her to come outside, because he wanted to show her something special.
Once outside, she said Norman wrapped a pipe cutting wire around her neck from behind, strangling her, and began dragging her toward the pond on her family's property.
Orchid-Cellmark DNA specialist Katherine Long performed an analysis of the blood found on the pipe cutter identifying the blood on the wire and handles as belonging to the victim.
Long testified she also found blood on Norman's black leather jacket on the lower left sleeve, on the 'right back thigh' of his blue jean pants and brown cotton gloves he wore during the attack.
Sandra McGee, 19, Norman's girlfriend at the time of the attack, testified he was obsessed with the victim.
'He talked about her a lot,' McGee said. 'He plotted different ways (to kill her),' saying the Ferris bottoms would be a good place to bury the body.
'I was under the impression everybody knew about it and no one took him seriously,' McGee testified.
McGee said she never believed Norman would ever hurt his ex-girlfriend, she just thought he was 'blowing smoke.'
McGee said the week before the attack, Norman had gathered guns, putting them in his car with the intent to go kill his former girlfriend, only to be stopped by his sister's boyfriend.
On the night of the assault, McGee said she and Norman left his home about 11 p.m. to drive to the victim's home in McGee's car with the materials (a tarp, shovel, pipe cutter, switchblade and gloves) he had gathered during the day to use on his ex-girlfriend.
To keep his vehicle from being seen, he parked by a water shed near the Barton property.
After the attack, McGee said Norman ran back to the car crying and hyperventilating, saying, 'How can I live with myself.'
Midlothian Police Officer Alicia Norman, Corey Norman's mother, said she worried about her son and had him admitted to Green Oaks Mental Hospital in Dallas for depression following the break up with his former girlfriend.
The hospital kept him overnight for observation and started him on a treatment plan after being released from the facility, according to his mom.
Norman contended her son was not all to blame for the attack and said he was provoked.
She said the victim would call him at home, asking him to come over to possibly talk through their problems and then dismissed him when he arrived.
Norman's sister Caliee said 'She (the ex-girlfriend) just wouldn't live him alone.'
'I don't care what anybody says. He's not a bad person,' Alicia Norman said through the tears. 'I believe he was hurt, depressed, played with, toyed with and drove to do that.'
Wilson showed a photo of the victim's injuries to Norman's mother, asking if she thought the victim was partly responsible for the injures.
In his closing arguments, Wilson accused Norman of throwing a 'pity party,' before comparing him to a bad apple.
Bad apples have a shiny sweet appearance on the outside, but only after you bite into one - do you discover it's real appearance, said Wilson
It makes you 'vomit because it is so rotten on the inside.'
'This could have easily killed her,' Wilson reminded jurors of the doctor's testimony. 'It's a miracle she's not dead.'
Defense attorney Rhonda Rieken argued Norman did not need a prison term, but the chance to get the help he desperately needed for his depression.
She tried unsuccessfully to petition the court to drop the kidnapping charge to lower the charges to a second-degree felony of attempted murder carrying a sentence of two to 20 years.
When two felonies are committed at the same time, such as an attempted murder and kidnapping, it is defined as a capital case.
Barton said he felt there was something different about him when Norman and his daughter dated, but could not but his finger on it.
'He's a timebomb. He wants to come on as a nice guy,' Barton said.
'I'm afraid he'll get out and come finish the job,' the young victim said during the sentencing phase of the trial 'I'm very afraid of him.'