Clearfield Man Gets Up to Five Years in State Prison for Gun Incident

CLEARFIELD – A Clearfield man accused of pointing a gun at people in August was sentenced to up to five years in state prison on Tuesday.

Donald J. Norris was sentenced to an open plea on charges of terroristic threats, simple assault, disorderly conduct and numerous summary charges.

The Honorable Paul E. Cherry sentenced Norris to four months to five years in state prison. Upon his release he is to refrain from the use or possession of alcohol and controlled substances, complete an anger management counseling and is to have no contact wit the victims. He was also sentenced to three years of probation, with each probation period running concurrent to each other and the above sentence.

According to a prior Gant Story, police were dispatched for a reported man who was in possession of a gun at a West Front Street residence. Six others were able to gain control of the gun and wrestle him to the ground until police arrival, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

At the scene, arresting officer Michael Rowles observed Norris being held to the ground. He indicated that another officer who had arrived prior to himself was also helping restrain the defendant. He said they were then able to handcuff and search Norris for additional weapons.

Police said they were taken to the location of the gun on a picnic table in the resident’s yard. They said that the resident had placed the gun on the same after gaining control of it. They said that the gun was found with the clip out and the slide locked back.

Police said they also found the gun’s clip, which contained six live rounds of 45-caliber ammunition. They said that two pocket knives were also on the table and had been taken from Norris.

Police received statements from three residents who were at home at the time of the incident.

In his statement, the first advised that he was leaning against the picnic table about 10 feet from Norris. He told police that he saw the defendant pointing a semi-automatic hand gun at the victim, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

He also told police that the victim was to the right of Norris. He said the defendant had his thumb on the hammer with it pulled back. He said he subsequently rushed for the gun, placing his hand between the slide and the hammer.

He indicated that he was able to get the gun from Norris. Once in control of the weapon, he told police that he dropped the clip and cleared the chamber. He told police that while doing so, a live round was ejected from the chamber.

He said he then returned to Norris and helped restrain his arms. He advised police that the defendant reached for his pockets while being restrained. As a result, he said that another party checked and recovered a large folding knife and another smaller knife.

He said both were placed with the gun and clip. He said he and his father took Norris to the ground. He said the defendant then told them that “You’re done. You’re all done,” according to the affidavit of probable cause.

In an interview, the resident’s father told police that he learned about the situation from his wife. He said that at the time, he was by a side door to the residence and about 30 feet away.

He said that his wife yelled, “You need to help, Don has a gun.” He said that he was able to see his son wrestle the gun from Norris’ hand.

He said that he then helped his son restrain the defendant. He said that once his son had cleared the gun, a friend then secured it. He told police that he felt fear for his family and his son’s friends.

His wife told police that she overheard her son, asking the defendant, “What the (explanative) are you doing?” She said she looked at Norris and noticed that he had a gun. She said that he was pointing it at the victim, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

She told police that she saw her son take the gun from defendant and in turn unload it. She said that she was “nervous and shaking” but was still able to yell for her husband.

“Help – Don has a gun,” she said in an interview with police. Police indicated that she called 911.

Police said that Norris was “highly intoxicated and very uncooperative” with authorities.

During sentencing one of the victims in the case asked the judge to impose the maximum possible sentence.

When given his chance to speak, Norris apologized to the victims. “I’m very sorry for what happened that night. I had no intention to hurt anyone. I have no idea what happened that night.”

“It’s very fortunate that nothing serious happened,” commented Cherry. “I cringe to think what could have happened.”

“This type of behavior is reprehensible,” Cherry added.

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