The Norman Transcript

Crime/Courts

September 13, 2013

Murder victim’s son testifies in court

NORMAN — Testimonies for a first-degree murder trial began Thursday, one of which included the murder victim’s son.

Gary Norton Sr., 55, of Lexington, was shot and killed on Easter Sunday last year in his home after a drive-by shooting.

Russell Lee Blackwood, 41, of Purcell, is on trial for first-degree murder.

Blackwood was charged conjointly with Richard Dean Lansdale, 38, also of Purcell. The two are accused of killing Norton during the drive-by shooting. Norton died of a gunshot wound to the head.

Norton’s son, Gary Norton Jr., of Noble, took the stand Thursday, answering questions about his father and younger brother, Josh Norton. Josh lived in his father’s home with his girlfriend, Tonya Pittman, at the time of the shooting.

Norton Jr. testified that he and his family stayed away from Josh because they did not agree with his lifestyle.

“He was a drug addict,” Norton Jr. said. “He had a problem of taking care of himself.”

He told the courtroom that his younger brother never really grew up. In his opinion, Josh took advantage of their father because their father always supported him no matter what, he said.

Norton Jr. said he was close with his father and talked to him every day. Norton Sr. also was close to his son’s family, going to barbecues with them or spending time fishing with his granddaughters.

Josh Norton’s girlfriend, Pittman, also took the stand Thursday, telling the courtroom Norton Sr. was like a father figure to her and a good father to Josh.

“He was a great person. He was always there for Josh,” Pittman said.

Although the two lived with Norton Sr., neither of them were there the night of the shooting. The day before the shooting, April 7, 2012, Pittman said someone called their house twice.

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