MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

October 27, 2012

Two men found guilty of murder

Verdict brings scream of ‘Somebody’s going to have to kill me’ by one of the convicted

Screaming “Somebody’s going to have to kill me today, I ain’t going to jail,” one of two Muskogee men convicted of murder Friday was led handcuffed out of the courthouse.

Dawaan Norwood, 22, and Schiavone Anderson, 18, were found guilty by a panel of 10 women and two men of first-degree felony murder for the Nov. 11, 2011 slaying of Roshun English, 35.

Anderson lowered his head and walked out of District Judge Tom Alford’s courtroom silently after the verdict was read.

Norwood didn’t walk out so peacefully.

With deputies holding on to both arms, Norwood began screaming and ranting as he was led out of the courtroom, yelling profanities as friends and family urged him to calm down. Once outside the courtroom, Norwood leapt in the air, trying to break free of deputies George Roberson and Matt Lott.

During the struggle, Lott threw Norwood to the ground and pinned him. As Lott struggled, Roberson pulled out his Taser and told Norwood to calm down.

“Stop it ‘Waan,” Roberson said. “Don’t move again or I’ll have to tase you.”

Muskogee County District Court employees closed double doors leading to the elevators the defendants were being ushered to, keeping family and friends away from the two men.

Many people cried and screamed to Anderson and Norwood as they were placed in the elevators. One woman collapsed to the ground, hitting her head on a table near the double doors.

First-degree murder is based on a 45-year term, and falls under Oklahoma’s 85 percent statute. So, Anderson and Norwood will be required to spend 38 years and three months in prison before being eligible for parole.

Deborah English, Roshun English’s mother, said she was pleased with the verdict.

“It’s justice,” Deborah said. “I feel like justice was served.”

Deborah, her husband Morris and son Myron attended Friday’s verdict.

“I feel bad for both families,” Morris said. “It didn’t have to come to this.

“The thing that hurts the worst is my little grandson had to sit there and watch the whole thing.”

English was shot in front of his girlfriend, Dana Webb — who testified Wednesday. Webb testified she was holding onto the couple’s 3-year-old son when English was shot.

“Sometimes (my grandson) and his brother will be in the car with me, and they’ll look up in the sky and say, ‘Hi daddy,’” Morris said. “That just breaks me up.”

Myron said he felt bad for all the families involved.

Anderson and Norwood return to court Nov. 7 at 10 a.m. for sentencing.

Another defendant, Romonne Johnson Jr., 17, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of first-degree robbery as a youthful offender in exchange for his testimony against Anderson, Norwood and another defendant, Jacorey Billings, 21.

Billings will be tried at a later date.

“We put the case in the hands of the jury,” said Muskogee County Assistant District Attorney Dan Medlock. “And they returned what we feel was a proper verdict.”

Throughout the three-day trial, defense attorneys for Norwood and Anderson leaned on two things:

• Anderson was an unwilling participant, forced into the robbery out of fear of Billings; and

• Testimony by Webb and Johnson was incomplete and/or unreliable, and it was unclear exactly what role Norwood played in English’s death.

Webb testified that Norwood was given the gun by Billings, and shot English as English charged him after having been beaten by Billings.

During closing arguments, Medlock pointed out that Anderson was arrested almost two months after the shooting with Billings, at a Muskogee apartment complex.

“He was so afraid of Jacorey Billings that he was still with him two months later?” Medlock asked the jury. “He may have been scared of him, but he wasn’t nearly as scared as Dana Webb.”

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth@muskogeephoenix.com.

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