Norris found guilty in work camp altercation

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By Alice Du Pont

A Gadsden County jury found Curtis Norris guilty of felony battery in the death of Billy Williams on Dec. 24, 2006 at the River Junction Work Camp in Chattahoochee. Norris was charged with second-degree murder after he and Williams argued and got into a physical altercation on Christmas Eve 2006.

The jury took less than an hour to return the verdict after Norris' attorney, Zachary Ward, argued that Williams' death was the result of an accident that occurred when Williams was pushed to the floor during the fight and not because Norris deliberately pounded Williams' head into the concrete floor.

"This is an excusable homicide. This is not something anybody wanted to happen," Ward told the jury.

Assistant state attorney Harrison Poole argued that the extent of Williams' injuries were not consistent with falling during a fight.

"This was a slam from 5 feet in the air into a concrete floor," Poole said.

Circuit Judge Kathleen Dekker sentenced Norris to 10 years, five of which will run consecutively. His release date, with the added sentence, will likely be around 2020 or 2021, according the assistant state attorney Poole.

Norris has also been named a habitual felony offender and a prison release offender, both of which will enhance jail time if Norris is ever convicted of other crimes.