Nov 17, 2009 9:58 PM by Stacy Daniel
Accident or act of manslaughter?
A San Miguel man, accused of fatally shooting of his wife faces a judge in a preliminary hearing.
The hearing started on Tuesday to see if there is enough evidence to move forward with the case against 24-year-old John Norris.
Norris is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the July death of his wife, Tasha.
He claims the shooting was an accident.
After a minor setback, Norris has recovered from the flu and was able to make it to court for the first day of his preliminary hearing.
Norris listened as Sheriff's Deputies recalled, in detail, what happened the day he fatally shot his 24 year-old wife, Tasha.
Norris told investigator he was clearing his hand gun gun and it accidentily went off,
Sheriff's Deputy, Matt Terrell says,"He had told me that he was clearing the firearm and that he opened the slide. He looked and did not see a round. He let the slide go and as he let the slide go a small dog went under his feet and he tripped on the dog and as he was falling down the gun went off."
After that Norris told investigators, he looked up and saw his wife, on the ground.
According to investigators Norris didn't call 911, instead he ran over to his wife and tried to stop her bleeding.
Deputy Terrell says, "He was obviously distraught. He was speaking softly, crying at points."
Norris was not arrested or charged with any crime at that time.
Several weeks later the District Attorney's office announced it was taking up the case.
In the meantime, Norris is free on bail.
The couple's two young children are staying with friends.
Norris is due back in court on Friday.
Attorneys estimate they will know by then if there is enough evidence to move forward with the case.
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