Norris To Serve Probation
Joseph Kipling Norris, 31, of 362 Madison Rd., New Martinsville, was sentenced Friday, Sept. 11, by Judge David W. Hummel, to one to five years in prison for failing to appear on felony bail. However, this sentence was suspended and Norris will instead serve a period of probation until he pays $5,000 fine, the maximum for a failure to appear on felony bail conviction.
Norris was previously aquitted on Aug. 4, of two counts of first-degree sexual assault.
Norris pleaded guilty Aug. 31 to one of his two counts of failure to appear on felony bail. The other count was dismissed.
When pleading his case, Norris told Judge Hummel that he had a job lined up.
“I was supposed to start last week,” he said. “They are aware of my charges. They wanted me to wait until everything was completely settled . . . I realize what I did was wrong. I acknowledged that I didn’t appear because of a fear of going to jail for charges I was facing.”
Norris’ attorney, Brett Ferro, stated that his client had acknowledged to him that he had panicked and freaked out, because he was facing 50 to 200 years in prison.
“He should’ve been there to post bond or surrendered,” Ferro said. Ferro stated that he felt Norris really wanted to make it to court the second time he failed to appear but he was “stranded in Baltimore. He made a bad decision and it snowballed . . . He can pay a fine very easily; he could pay his child support he’s obligated to pay.”
It was noted that Norris recently had a positive drug test. Norris told Hummel that he couldn’t explain how anything would be in his system.
“I certainly wouldn’t lie about it. I wouldn’t want to make myself look like an idiot.”
Norris added that he has “faced things I’ve been accused of.”