Jury selection is scheduled to start in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John’s this morning for the murder trial of Anne Norris.
Crown and defense lawyers are set to take part in a pre-trial conference at 9am, with jury selection scheduled to start at 10am, if all goes as predicted.
Norris, 29, has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of 46-year-old Marcel Reardon in St. John’s in May of 2016.
A resident of Harbour View Apartments on Brazil Street found Reardon’s body under an outdoor staircase during the morning of May 9; witnesses say he appeared to have been beaten to death. Police said at the time they had recovered a weapon they believed to have been involved in Reardon’s murder, though they have never disclosed what it is.
Court documents reveal Norris was living in the apartment building at the time of Reardon’s death.
Members of Reardon’s family and friends have spoken in the media since his death, describing him as a generous man who was getting his life back on track after issues with addiction. A number of people have openly suspected there was more than one person involved in Reardon’s death.
Norris is a former athlete, with accomplishments at the national level in martial arts and basketball. She was once a member of the Mount Pearl Huskies basketball team, the Junior Sea-Hawks basketball team and the provincial Canada Games basketball team, among others.
Norris, who has bipolar disorder, had been discharged from hospital and moved into Harbour View Apartments just days before Reardon’s death.
Last year, Norris pleaded guilty to charges of uttering threats, resisting arrest and breaching court orders in connection with incidents unrelated to Reardon.
In May 2015, Norris was a voluntary patient at the Waterford Hospital when she became violent during a transfer to another unit in the building. She screamed at a nurse, who was a single mother, “I know you have three boys and when I get out of here, I swear I’m coming for every single one of them,” and later threatened to kill the children. Police showed up and arrested Norris, who attempted to escape, kicking one officer in the thigh and another in the stomach. After a court appearance, she was released on conditions, including that she stay away from establishments selling alcohol.
In April of 2016, Norris was arrested after she was spotted leaving Tols’ Timeout Lounge in Mount Pearl. She was released on conditions again the following day, after appearing before a judge.
She was eventually sentenced to a week-long jail term, with three days’ credit given for the time she had already been in custody, and ordered to have no contact with the nurse or her family. She was also required to submit a DNA sample.
That was the first time Norris had been in trouble with the law.
Five weeks have been allotted for Norris’ trial. Defence lawyers Rosellen Sullivan and Jerome Kennedy are representing Norris, while the Crown prosecutors are Iain Hollett and Elaine Reid.