Life in prison for Fauquier teen for Valentine’s Day murders of mother and brother

Levi Norwood has been sentenced to life in prison plus 40 years for the 2020 Valentine’s Day murders of his mother and 6-year-old brother in Fauquier County, Virginia.

In August, 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.

Under Virginia law, Norwood, who was 17 at the time of the crimes, will be eligible for parole after 20 years, under Virginia’s recent law prohibiting life in prison with no chance of parole for juveniles.

During sentencing, prosecutors played a 70-minute clip recorded in a holding cell, after Norwood had been arrested by police in Durham, North Carolina. Sitting by himself, Norwood held a quiet monologue, on a variety of topics — often speaking about his girlfriend.

Norwood’s public defender, Ryan Ruzic, told Circuit Court Judge James Fisher that his client had been physically abused by his father, who was also shot and wounded by Norwood.

Ruzic said Norwood’s father told him “he’d kill him if he ever dated a Black girl.” Norwood was dating a Black teen at the time of the shooting.

Fauquier County Commonwealth’s Attorney Scott Hook told Fisher, “This is about a girl,” and that Norwood was angry that his father was trying to prevent him from dating his girlfriend.

”Mom and dad wanted to remove (the girlfriend), so they had to go,” said Hook, repeating what Norwood said on hard-to-hear video. “I killed my brother and mother to punish my dad.”

Hook told Fisher that claims Norwood’s father, Joshua, was abusive and racist only surfaced after Norwood was arrested.

In his closing statements, Hook read Norwood’s 17th birthday card, in which both parents expressed pride and love for their son.

When asked if he wanted to say anything before sentencing, Norwood declined.

Fisher sentenced Norwood above the sentencing guideline recommendation of 32 years: “I believe Mr. Norwood is a danger to himself, others, and society, and that would continue.”

As he was led away by sheriff’s deputies, Norwood’s grandmother called “I love you, Levi,” as the courtroom door closed behind him.

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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