The sentence was announced around 6:30 p.m. after the nine-man, three-woman jury deliberated for just under one hour. On Wednesday, the jury spent more than three hours deliberating the guilty verdict of the crime that was enhanced to a felony due to several previous convictions.
Norvell had pleaded guilty on the July 11, 2010 offense in March 2011 and received a fiveyear sentence in the TDCJ. However, an appeals court threw out the plea due to a technicality on the indictment and Norvell received a new trial.
Entered into evidence in the sentencing phase were his previous convictions and two arrests following the March 2010 theft arrest.
The arrests, both in Scurry County, were for burglary of a building and evading arrest. Prior convictions include driving while license invalid (1983), assault (1994) and possession of drug paraphernalia (1977), all in Andrews County; possession of cocaine (1997) and theft, both in Ector County; possession of cocaine (1997), theft (2001), evading arrest (2002) and possession of marijuana (2005), all in Scurry County; and theft (2007) in Taylor County.
The trial included a request for a mistrial Wednesday afternoon as defense attorney Reed Filley said one member of the jury had inadvertently entered the elevator with the defendant and his mother.
Following the motion, District Judge Ernie Armstrong brought the juror into the courtroom and after being satisfied there was no communication, ruled against the defense motion.
Among the state witnesses presented by District Attorney Dana Cooley and assistant DA Ben Smith were Snyder police officer Lee Ortiz.
Ortiz said he reviewed the surveillance tapes of the July 11 shoplifting and recognized Norvell and his truck in the United Supermarkets parking lot. He said he was definitely able to tell Norvell walked out of the store with a sack and then walked back in and placed the bacon in the sack. He said Norvell left without paying around 7 p.m.
The officer said he also reviewed tapes revealing that Norvell had shoplifted items at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on the same day, but could not definitely tell what he had taken from the store's meat market. Ortiz said because what was taken could not be determined, Norvell was not charged with those thefts.
It is suspected that Norvell was trading the shoplifted food items for drugs. An arrest warrant was issued for Norvell and he was taken into custody on July 16, 2010.