Neighbors react to Norman arrest

By: Alicia Gentile Email
By: Alicia Gentile Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- An arrest has been made in the homicide investigation of Kathy Fortner. Nearly three weeks ago the 49-year-old woman's body was discovered at the Colorado National Monument.

Now Kathy Fortner's boyfriend is behind bars. Forty-four year old, David Norman remains in police custody and is charged with second degree murder. Just last week, we reported Norman was arrested on a parole violation and has been in The Mesa County Jail since July 2nd. Now we have learned he is facing charges of murder, tampering with evidence and lying to authorities.

Neighbors of the couple say they weren't surprised to learn Norman was arrested. Peggy Chambers and Thomas Denton were only a fence away from the duplex David Norman and Kathy Fortner shared.

Chambers watched authorities collect evidence from their home.

"I guess I figured that was gonna happen because of all the evidence I saw being removed from the house," said Chambers.

And Denton says when the body was discovered at the Monument, he knew it was his neighbor.

"The morning we had seen the body was discovered on the monument, I told my wife, I bet you it's our neighbor," said Denton.

The Sunday before the body was discovered, Denton says the couple was fighting in their home- so loudly he could hear it through the walls of his nearby home. He also heard Norman's car speed off in a hurry.

“He lives behind us, throwing rocks at our window and I went out hollering at him, about 12:30-1:00 in the morning and told him, hey, we're trying to sleep and he stated he and his girlfriend were having a fight and he had to leave,” said Denton.

Neighbors say they are a little more at peace knowing Norman has been charged with murder, but this once quiet neighborhood will be taking a little more caution when it comes to staying safe.

“It shocked me- my wife makes sure the doors are locked every night,” said Denton.

The nearly ten page arrest affidavit revealed a lot about the case, which outlines details about the investigation, including the fact that Norman was the one who reported Fortner was missing. Norman said he got in a fight with his girlfriend and she left. He also told authorities Fortner has seizures and said she did not take any medication with her, when she left their home.

Norman remains in the Mesa County Jail and without bond. He'll have his first court appearance on these new charges either Sunday or Monday.

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