HADLEY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Just weeks before Michael Norton was accused of killing his wife, he was ordered to not have any illegal activity against her but the couple was still able to live together.
“No illegal contact orders of protection are much weaker. They don’t offer as much protection as no contact orders of protection,” Paul DerOhannesian, of DerOhannesian & DerOhannesian, said.
Local attorney DerOhannesian is speaking about an order of protection like the one issued against 58-year-old Michal Norton on April 5th. The victims listed on the temporary included his wife 52-year-old Sherry Norton and daughter Savannah Norton.
Twenty-eight days later, Michael is accused of beating his wife to death with an ax inside their Hadley home.
The order of protection barred Norton from assaulting, stalking, harassing or having any illegal actions against Sherry but it did not stop them from having contact or living together.
“The reason that no illegal contact orders are often issued is because the complaining witness says they do want to maintain a relationship.”
Michael was supposed to be sentenced on May 31st for a reckless endangerment conviction, involving the discharge of a firearm last April in which Sherry Norton was also charged.
DerOhannesian says no illegal contact orders do offer some help if police were called for another disturbance officers would be alerted that there has been a prior issue.
“Violation of that order may be easier to prove than proving an actual crime for example.”
The family of Sherry Norton conveyed a message to NEWS10 ABC’s Lindsay Nielsen through funeral director Robert Densmore.
“The family just wants to say that they appreciate you know all the thoughts and prayers that have gone their way. It means a lot to them,” Densmore said.
This evening in Corinth there will be calling hours for Sherry and also a prayer service. Michael remains lodged at the Saratoga County Jail.