A 39-year-old Olympia man was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of burglary and assault charges.
Kevin G. Norton was convicted in November on two counts of first-degree burglary and one count of second-degree assault, and was sentenced by Thurston County Superior Court Judge Carol Murphy on Wednesday morning.
Norton was arrested Aug. 29 after a man called 911 and reported Norton had broken into his shop, according to court documents. When Thurston County sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene, the male victim was sitting on top of Norton, preventing him from leaving.
A woman at the scene told the deputy that she and Norton had gotten into a fight, and the male victim picked her up and drove her to the shop. By the time they arrived, she had received about 70 text messages from Norton, according to court documents.
Norton came to the shop a short time later and began banging on the door. The male victim opened the door and Norton rushed in, but the man eventually got Norton to go back outside, according to court documents.
Norton then began hitting the building with a jack, causing damage to the door. He entered the shop again, grabbed a drill and started toward the male victim. The man was able to wrestle the drill out of Norton’s hand, according to court documents.
At the Wednesday hearing, Deputy Prosecutor Jim Powers recommended that Norton be sentenced to 34 months in prison on the burglary charges, and 14 months on the assault charge. Both recommendations were at the top of the standard sentencing range.
Smith recommended that Norton serve 26 months in prison on the burglary charges, the minimum in the range. He said the sentence for the assault charge didn’t matter as much, as the sentences would be served concurrently.
Smith called Norton’s actions in August “out of character.” He said that Norton had no criminal history, and that he had never spent time in jail prior to his Aug. 29 arrest. About a dozen people were present at the hearing in support of Norton.
“It is clear that he has the significant support of the community,” Smith said.
Norton apologized for his actions, and told the court he has always supported peace and nonviolence. He also said that because of the conviction, he would likely not be able to continue his career as a music teacher working with children.
“I will be losing the job I worked for my whole life,” Norton said.
Murphy said that based on the letters submitted to the court in support of Norton, she believed his actions in August were out of character. She said the facts of the case didn’t warrant a sentence at the top or bottom of the range, and awarded Norton a midrange sentence.
Norton also was ordered to pay $800 in fines and fees. Restitution will be decided at a later hearing.