Fauquier Co. teen pleads guilty to Valentine’s Day murders of mom and brother

Levi Norwood has pleaded guilty in Fauquier County Circuit Court to shooting and killing his mother and 6-year-old brother in the February 2020, in the family’s Virginia home.

Norwood pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the death of his mother, Jennifer, and a reduced charge of second-degree murder in the death of his brother, Wyatt.

Other charges in the case, involving the wounding of his father, were dropped.

The now-19-year-old Norwood spoke in a barely audible voice in answering the judge’s questions about his understanding of the plea arrangement reached by Commonwealth’s Attorney Scott Hook and public defender Ryan Ruzic.

Judge James Fisher ordered a presentence investigation, and set a status hearing for Nov. 3.

“It will not be a short sentencing,” Ruzic told the judge.

Since the Feb. 14, 2020 crime, Norwood has undergone two psychiatric evaluation. Ruzic hasn’t revealed the findings.

While his attorney earlier was considering a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, Norwood had repeatedly been found competent to stand trial.

As WTOP reported in July 2020, charging documents said that on the day of the shootings, Norwood told his girlfriend at school “that he wanted to kill his mother.” The girlfriend also said Norwood was depressed and anxious, and said he told her he was schizophrenic and would see “shadow people.”

Ruzic never filed a motion alerting prosecutors of using an insanity defense prior to the plea, suggesting the psychiatric evaluations determined Norwood was not insane at the time of the offenses.

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein reported from Fauquier County.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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