Without the benefit of an adult

If you are female, remember being 14 years old? Very into peers esp. boys, impressionable, sometimes guillible, often rebellious, sometimes hormonal, and even at times a bit hysterical? And always a bit dramatic?

I really debated about writing about this case. Not because the subject is too difficult. It is, hard but I’ve written about worse. Not because I have any objection about writing about kids who commit crimes.

I guess the main reason I hesitated, is because I remember being a 14 year old girl.

Brittany Norris has been arrested for the murder of her mother Regina Norris and her mother’s boyfriend Lawrence Norris (no relation to each other, even though the last names were the same). The only articles I have been able to find are announcements of her arrest.

I haven’t found any description as to how their bodies came to be found by police or who was present at the time. I haven’t seen anything about the crime scene other than the fact that both victims were killed with a single gunshot to the head. I haven’t seen any indications of a motive or a criminal history for Brittany. As a matter of fact, she is said to be an honors student with no criminal record.

And while normally what defense attorneys say aren’t one of my immediate concerns, this one did say something that got my attention:

Attorney Gerald Schwab Jr. said Brittany Norris was held for hours and questioned without having an attorney or family member present“They badgered her and manipulated her into making a statement,” attorney Gerald Schwab Jr. said, describing his client as a well-behaved honor student reeling from the death of her mother. “She’s terrified and in shock, and now they’re saying she’s confessed.”

http://www.modbee.com/state_wire/story/11910505p-12679006c.html

As I said, I haven’t seen anything about what police found when they got to the crime scene. But they are saying that she confessed. Still, at 14 if I had been faced with the murder of my mother, likely I would have been easily led to say about anything. It always makes me uncomfortable when I hear that kids are questioned without the benefit of the advice of a parent, guardian, or attorney. After all, under the law this child is not deemed capable of making the decisions necessary to live on her own, to sign a contract, to marry, or to vote or to get a driver’s license. And that is under normal conditions. Yet, for some reason it is ok for her to cooperate in a murder investigation on the same day of her mother’s death- without even the benefit of an adult presence.

Maybe she did commit the murders. But I would have felt a lot more comfortable about her confession, if she had had an attorney or at least a relative with her, to help guide her in acting in her own behalf. I think I would probably have more confidence in the confession.

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4 Comments

  1. Magnolia said,

    March 11, 2006 at 7:55 am

    I have to agree with you on this.

  2. yolanda norris said,

    April 6, 2008 at 3:03 am

    i also agree with you i hate this i just pray that God sees her on to better days no mama no daddy what does she have? God that is who.thanks for putting it out there that things were not did right in this case god forgives us of our wrong but here in the land of the free we hold it over your head for the rest of your life what makes us better.

  3. Rebecca said,

    February 2, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    I knew brittney personally. she was actually my best friend at the time. After the accident she came to my house all distraught and confused and crying hysterically.The lemoore police department should be suied they had no right to go accusing her of something so horrible.They had no evidience what so ever. i still to this day know that she didint do. she loved her mother. i just thought everyone should Brittney changed my life in so many ways. i love her.
    and drugs was a big part in this whole thing. she was the bestest friend i have ever had. i hope she is okay. Peiople should know though that Brittney Norris had the biggest kindest heart. Ill never forget her.

  4. Nesha said,

    July 17, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    I knew both the Regina and Brittney for a number of years before this tragic event. I loved them both and babusat Brittney as a young child. I’m not sure what took place that day, but I will never feel justice was served. As the writer of this article stated there’s something not right about a 14 yearold being questioned alone while still exhibiting the effects of the use of methamphitamines. The news reports that only a small amount were found in her system, how never states when they tested her. And I believe they didn’t test her until after the alleged confession was obtained. I’m not sure we’ll ever know what happened that day, although I feel there’s someone out there that knows, that was there, and is not serving time for this. This will haunt me forever.


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