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A man in Virginia has confessed to killing his brother and mother when he was 17 years-old.
Levi Norwood, 19, pleaded guilty to murdering his mother, Jennifer Norwood, 34, and brother, Wyatt Norwood, 6, in the family’s Elk Run home in Midland, Virginia — about 50 miles southwest of Washington D.C. in Fauquier County — on Valentine's Day in 2020, according to CBS News Radio affiliate WTOP-FM.
Levi Norwood, who was 17 years old when he shot his mom and little brother to death, appeared in the Fauquier County Circuit Court on Monday after multiple delays. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for his mother’s homicide and to a lesser charge of second-degree murder in his young brother’s death.
Other criminal charges were dropped as part of the deal, including Levi's shooting of his father, Joshua Norwood, who initially survived the attack.
Joshua Norwood called 911 after finding his wife and younger son dead in their home at around 6:00 p.m. on Feb. 14, 2020, the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office stated. Both mother and child were found under a blanket in the basement of their home, according to The Washington Post.
Levi was still on the scene.
“The caller was confronted by his 17-year-old son, identified as Levi Norwood, who fired several gunshots,” authorities stated. “The caller retreated from the home to safe cover.”
A bullet allegedly grazed Joshua Norwood on the head before Levi fled on foot.
Deputies appealed for information about the teenage suspect’s whereabouts, announcing their belief that Levi stole a 2007 red Toyota Camry the morning after the murder. Levi was described as being 5’9” and about 125 pounds with purple-colored hair, listed as armed and dangerous.
“Citizens are urged to shelter in place, secure residences, and if it is safe to do so, confirm all vehicles are secured,” the sheriff’s office stated at the time. “If possible, bring all pets inside residences.”
A large-scale search got underway, which included the use of unmanned aerial systems, helicopter units and overnight searches of local barns, fields and woodlands. Activities at all Fauquier County schools were also canceled in light of the events.
Both Levi and the stolen vehicle were found the following day, when he was arrested in North Carolina on suspicion of shoplifting. He reportedly attempted to remove his hair dye in an alleged effort to conceal his identity.
On top of murder charges, Levi was also charged with grand larceny of a vehicle, attempted murder and three charges of use of a firearm during the commission of a felony, according to the Washington Post.
A definitive motive for the murder was not disclosed, but the teenager’s mental health had been a concern since his 2020 arrest. Charging documents obtained by WTOP-FM in July of that year indicated Levi had planned to murder his family.
On the day of the murders, Levi allegedly told his girlfriend that he “wanted to kill his mother,” according to the court records. Levi allegedly reported seeing “shadow people” and told the girl that he lived with depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.
Despite this, Levi's public defender, Ryan Ruzic, did not proffer an insanity defense, suggesting that Levi was found competent to stand trial after undergoing two mental health evaluations.
The findings of those mental health examinations were never revealed.
“I think that Levi is someone who, at the time this incident happened, had severe mental issues which were not being treated,” said Ruzic. “I’m hoping that when that evidence is reviewed, the court’s able to make a just decision for what should happen next.”
A sentence didn’t appear to have been agreed to as part of the recent plea deal, though a pre-sentence hearing is scheduled for Nov. 3.
“It will not be a short sentencing,” said Ruzic, according to WTOP-FM.
Levi’s father, Joshua Norwood, initially survived the shooting but was found dead at his Midland home on April 20, 2020, according to investigators. He died as a result of trauma to his upper body, though no foul play was suspected.
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