Killer gets max term in Colorado National Monument slaying

David Norman

The family of a woman who was beaten to death, before her body was dumped at the foot of Colorado National Monument, gasped with joy and applauded in court as a Mesa County judge announced the maximum sentence in the case.

David Norman, 44, was sentenced by District Judge Valerie Robison to serve 48 years in prison, the harshest term available following Norman’s guilty plea last month to second-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend, 49-year-old Kathy Fortner.

Mississippi resident Cindy Edwards, among Fortner’s three sisters, made an emotional plea for the maximum term while asking the judge to “remove this poor excuse of a man from the streets.”

Fortner’s body was found July 2, 2013, at the Monument’s west entrance. An arrest warrant affidavit said Norman reported Fortner missing that morning and told authorities she’d left their North Avenue apartment following an argument over him using his cellphone too much. Mesa County Sheriff’s Office deputies who responded to the missing person report discovered blood in the bed of Norman’s pickup, which later proved to be Fortner’s.

Norman’s truck was allegedly seen on surveillance video at the monument’s west entrance in the early-morning hours of July 2; at one point he appears to be looking directly into one of the cameras, the affidavit said.

An autopsy showed Fortner died of multiple blunt-force injuries to the head. Fortner’s case was among the most aggravated assaults against a woman investigated by the Mesa County coroner in recent years, District Attorney Pete Hautzinger told the judge.

Read much more in the full story in Saturday’s Daily Sentinel.


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