Originally created 12/01/99

Father charged in death



WARRENVILLE -- An Aiken County man had been out of prison just a few weeks when he apparently brought home a woman his father didn't want in the house.

James Laverne Norris, 62, of Warrenville, was charged with murder after he allegedly fired one shot from a single-barrel shotgun, striking his son in the chest shortly before 11 p.m. Monday, sheriff's Lt. Michael Frank said. Both men had been drinking, he said.

Randall J. Norris, 39, was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead just before midnight, Coroner Sue Townsend said.

Mr. Norris had lived at the residence on the 100 block of Project Road with his father since his release from prison in early November. Officials said the two got into an argument in the living room of their home. The father then grabbed a shotgun from the bedroom, Lt. Frank said.

After the gunfire, the father called 911.

An investigation found the men had been arguing about a woman the son had brought into the home, Lt. Frank said. The lieutenant identified the woman as Teresa Keenan, 35, of Warrenville.

Lt. Frank said he didn't know the specifics of the argument, only that Mr. Norris did not want Ms. Keenan in the house.

The woman was standing on the front porch when deputies arrived, and she was outside when the shooting occurred, officials said.

Mr. Norris is being held at the Aiken County Detention Center without bond. An autopsy on the son is scheduled for 11 a.m. today in Newberry.

The slaying is the eighth homicide in Aiken County this year.

The son had served eight months in a Ridgeville prison for a criminal domestic violence charge and a probation violation, court records show. He was scheduled to be released in late December, but he convinced a judge that he never had received credit for 40 days he spent in jail awaiting trial. Circuit Judge Frank Eppes signed for the release of the younger Mr. Norris in November.

A check of court records indicates the son had been in and out of prison since 1980, when he was arrested for drunken driving at age 21. While on probation, he was ordered to participate in drug counseling and to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

He has been convicted of three criminal domestic violence offenses, including one April 18, 1997, where he struck a woman with his fists, threw her against a wall and threatened to kill her. There is no arrest record in Aiken County for the father.

Reach Katie Throne and Greg Rickabaugh at (803) 279-6895.