Jennifer Norris Pleads Guilty In Son's Death
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 7, 2004
ANDERSON, INDIANA--Nearly a year after the body of 8-year-old Mark Adrian Norris, Jr was found in the burned remains of his home, his mother has pleaded guilty to neglecting him.
Jennifer L. Norris, 27, had been scheduled to go to trial next Monday on the charge of criminal neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury. According to the Associated Press, she pleaded guilty to the charge with no plea agreement. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 2.
Mark's body was found by firefighters on January 21, 2003 after the home in Elwood had been destroyed. Autopsy results confirmed that Mark, who used a wheelchair because of his cerebral palsy and had epilepsy, died of pneumonia at least one day before the fire. Toxicology tests found evidence that he was malnourished and had not been given prescription medicine needed to treat his seizures.
Investigators had suspected that the fire was set deliberately to cover up Mark's death. No evidence has been found for them to charge Norris with arson.
Mike Warrum, the social worker with the state Division of Family and Children who was assigned to Mark's case, is scheduled to go on trial on a neglect charge next month.
"The Death of Mark A. Norris, Jr: Was fire a cover-up for his death?" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)