57 years for murder

Published 10:55 pm Friday, September 4, 2015

A North Carolina man on Friday received a 57-year prison sentence for a December 2012 murder.

Cassius Quamaine Norfleet, 25, was arrested in September 2014 and tried by a jury during a three-day trial in March and April.

Family and friends who testified during Friday’s hearing said they do not believe he gunned down 27-year-old William Kendale Jordan during an attempted robbery at Jordan’s Dutch Road home on Dec. 17, 2012.

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“I believe Cassius when he says he didn’t kill anyone,” said Chaney Coston, Norfleet’s step-aunt. “It is a known fact that juries sometimes make mistakes.”

Norfleet’s former boss at a lawn care business, Ronnie Anderson, said he would hire him back if he were able.

“I’m still kind of in denial,” he said. “I believe in Cassius. I wish you could take into consideration some of the details they portrayed him as is not true.”

Though three people were charged in the attempted robbery and murder, Norfleet was the one who pulled the trigger, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Will Jamerson said Friday.

Akeem Deshawn Lee Lassiter, of Sunbury, drove himself and three others to the scene of the crime that night. He was sentenced in June to eight years. He testified at his sentencing that he didn’t know two of the others with him — Norfleet and Michael Jamil Eason — planned a robbery until they were almost there.

According to previous court testimony, Eason and Norfleet got out of the car and went into the house. Jordan shot at the intruders but missed. Norfleet returned fire, killing Jordan.

“No matter what family or friends may say about Mr. Norfleet, he’s been found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” Jamerson said. “He needs to be held accountable for what he’s done.” Jamerson added there was a young child in the house.

Defense attorney Gregory Matthews painted a different picture of the crime.

“He (Jordan) was selling drugs out of that house with an AK-47,” Matthews said. “Mr. Jamerson didn’t mention that, so I will. When you enter into a certain lifestyle, you accept certain risks.”

Jamerson’s reply: “Nowhere in any of these black books we carry around is the penalty for having drugs in your house or having a gun in your house death”

Matthews also questioned the difference between the jury’s recommended sentence, 57 years, and what Lassiter got, which he said was 10 but was actually eight.

“Is Mr. Norfleet 47 years worse than Akeem Lassiter?” Matthews asked. “I don’t know. I would submit he isn’t.”

Jamerson, however, pointed out that Lassiter did not have a criminal record and was also the “case-buster.” He came forward to tell the truth about what happened.

“Mr. Norfleet has to be held accountable for what he did,” Jamerson said. “Mr. Lassiter has accepted responsibility. Mr. Eason has accepted responsibility. It is time for Mr. Norfleet to be given responsibility to accept.”

Judge L. Wayne Farmer, who presided at the trial, said he is “one million percent sure that (Norfleet) fired that gun and killed that man.”

He said he might have been inclined to give more time than the jury recommended but added, “I am not going to substitute my opinions for theirs.”

Eason is the last defendant in the case remaining to be sentenced. The hearing is scheduled for Sept. 25.

Matthews said he plans to file an appeal next week.