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Accused gunman in 2011 Christmas murder extradited to Scott County

Wes Bunch • Nov 18, 2012 at 8:47 AM

GATE CITY — The alleged gunman in the Christmas 2011 murder of a Scott County man was brought to Virginia last week to face trial after being released from custody in Tennessee.

Daniel Eugene Norris, 36, of Bristol, Tenn., is currently being held at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield on capital murder, robbery and weapons charges in connection with the Dec. 25, 2012, shooting death of Gregory Jerome Hale.

Because he is charged with capital murder, Norris could face the death penalty if he is convicted.

Norris had been incarcerated in Sullivan County on a probation violation prior to being extradited Wednesday. Scott County authorities placed a hold on Norris after he was identified in April 2012 as one of two suspects in Hale’s murder.

“Eventually the time comes around,” Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney Marcus McClung said. “Sometimes the process takes longer than we would like for it to, but he’s here now and we’re ready to proceed with the matter.”

Norris is expected to be arraigned sometime this week.

Norris’ alleged accomplice — Charlie Joe Ramey, 60, of Bristol, Tenn. — has been in custody in Scott County since he was arrested in April for his alleged role in Hale’s murder.

Ramey is charged with first-degree murder and robbery.

The Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office presented evidence at Ramey’s preliminary hearing in July detailing how the two suspects were allegedly responsible for Hale’s death.

Authorities allege that robbery and drug activity played a role in the shooting death.

Testimony given during the preliminary hearing identified Norris as the alleged shooter. The prosecution’s witness told that court that Norris was seen holding the murder weapon in his hand immediately after Hale was killed.

The Scott County Coroner’s Office concluded that Hale died after suffering gunshot wounds to the back and side of his head from close range with a small-caliber handgun.

Scott County authorities originally arrested another individual in connection with Hale’s shooting, but that person was released after evidence from a now-discredited witness was recanted.

Norris and Ramey became suspects in the investigation in late April after the Scott County Sheriff’s Office received information that they allegedly carried out the shooting.

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