Defendant claimed victim stabbed herself 14 times
WALTON COUNTY, GA (Feb. 10, 2024) Alcovy Circuit Court District Attorney Randy McGinley announced that this past week a Walton County jury found Deonte Norwood guilty of Malice Murder, 2 counts of Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, Family Violence Battery, and 5 counts of Cruelty to Children in the First Degree.
According to a press release from the DA’s office, on the evening of April 16, 2022, Norwood went to (Crystal Powell’s Monroe residence where she had her four children (including an infant she had with the defendant) as well as two very young cousins at the house.
After an argument, Norwood stabbed her 14 times, killing her just outside her front door. Not including the infant, the other five children, ranging in age from 3 to 11, witnessed the murder and saw Powell’s body in front of the house.
The oldest child called 911 after the Norwood fled the scene with the infant. The City of Monroe Police Department responded and led the investigation. The Defendant was located and arrested a short time later in Newton County. He had blood on his shoes which later was shown to be a DNA match for the victim. The Defendant was interviewed and made statements claiming that the victim had stabbed herself.
At trial, the State presented evidence of prior domestic violence by the defendant against the victim. The Medical Examiner who performed the autopsy testified that the death was caused by the stab wounds and that the injuries were not consistent with being self inflicted. The five children also bravely testified.
After the State rested, the Defendant took the stand attempting to blame the death on the victim, claiming she stabbed herself 14 times. The jury clearly did not buy the Defendant’s self serving version of the events that did not match any of the evidence presented. They deliberated for less than a hour on the 5th day of trial before returning the verdict of guilty on all counts.
After the verdict, multiple supporters and family of the victim shared how this senseless crime affected them and the family, including the young children. Judge Layla Zon then sentenced the Defendant to Life Without Parole plus 100 years in prison.
The prosecution was led by Assistant District Attorney Lacey Majors, Senior Assistant District Attorney Jacqueline Fletcher, Chief Investigator Josh Chambers, Victim Services Director Kim Kelly, and Legal Assistant Heather Johnson. The investigation was handled by the Monroe Police Department with assistance from the Newton County, GA Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia Bureau of
Investigation, the Gwinnett County Police Department, the GBI crime lab, Walton County 911, and the DA’s Office.
“While this verdict cannot bring Crystal back, I hope it brings some level of closure and a sense of justice to her family and friends. I want to thank all those that came to court in support of Crystal and her family, as well as all those supporting them that couldn’t come,” McGinley said in the press release. “This verdict, after such a heart wrenching trial, is a result of so much hard work by so many. I want to commend the Monroe Police Department for their excellent work as well as all the assisting agencies.”