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Norris found not criminally responsible for death of Marcel Reardon

Anne Norris, 30, sits in the dock near her lawyer, Rosellen Sullivan, as she waits for the jury to enter the courtroom with their verdict Saturday morning. The 12 jurors found Norris not criminally responsible for the murder of 46-year-old Marcel Reardon in 2016.
Anne Norris, 30, sits in the dock near her lawyer, Rosellen Sullivan, as she waits for the jury to enter the courtroom with their verdict Saturday morning. The 12 jurors found Norris not criminally responsible for the murder of 46-year-old Marcel Reardon in 2016. - Tara Bradbury

In a packed courtroom, charged with emotion, jurors came back with a verdict that Anne Norris has been found not criminally responsible in the death of Marcel Reardon. 

The announcement sparked gasps and tears as both Norris, her family and the family of Marcel Reardon reacted to the news. 

One of the Reardon family exclaimed, "Oh my God!" Another, the brother of Marcel Reardon, left the room abruptly saying, "This is bullshit."

The jury deliberated for a day and a half, coming back at one point to ask questions. Justice William Goodridge thanked the jury of six men and six women for their work and explained that now the verdict has been made, a new process will start for Anne Norris and that is what will determine what will follow.

Norris will be remanded to the Newfoundland and Labrador Criminal Mental Disorder Review Board for psychiatric treatment.

Comments from the family were not immediately available.

The trial took one month, and called 31 witnesses, including police officers, friends of Norris, employees of Walmart (where she purchased the hammer), the province's chief medical examiner, five psychiatrists and one psychologist, as well as Norris's father.

The Crown said she planned and deliberately killed Marcel Reardon by hitting him repeatedly with a hammer early in the morning of May 9, 2016. The defence maintained that she was mentally ill, therefore not responsible for her actions.

Norris pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

An update will be provided to this story shortly.

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Norris was a ‘ticking time bomb,’ lawyers tells St. John's court

Anne Norris admits to beating Marcel Reardon to death with hammer

Earlier story

The verdict in the Anne Norris trial to be announced

The jury in the Anne Norris murder trial has signalled to the judge they have reached a verdict.

Justice William Goodridge, Crown and defence lawyers, family members of Norris and Marcel Reardon and members of the media are now headed to Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John's  as the jury prepares to tell the court what their verdict is.

Norris, who has been in custody since her arrest two years ago, is already there.

Norris, 30, has admitted killing Marcel Reardon, 46, in May 2016 by striking him repeatedly in the head with a hammer she had bought hours earlier. She has admitted putting the hammer and her bloodstained jeans into a backpack and then throwing it in St. John's harbour.

Hollett and fellow prosecutor Jeff Summers say Norris planned and deliberately killed Reardon and is guilty of first-degree murder. Kennedy and co-counsel Rosellen Sullivan argue Norris is not criminally responsible for killing Reardon due to a severe mental illness that caused her to be delusional.

The jury has heard testimony from 31 witnesses since the trial began Jan. 22, including police officers, friends of Norris, employees of Walmart (where she purchased the hammer), the province's chief medical examiner, five psychiatrists and one psychologist, as well as Norris's father.

The Telegram will provide an update from the courtroom.

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