Witness to Stan Norman slaying testifies in Nevada County court
After Sean Bryant shot marbles at Stan Norman with an Airsoft gun, after he struck him in the buttocks with an arrow, he approached his girlfriend’s daughter, the woman testified Tuesday in Nevada County Superior Court.
Bryant, 52, was going to leave the Cascade Shores home where on April 15, 2018, he’d shot and beat the 70-year-old Norman. Bryant gave his girlfriend’s daughter a gun and quickly showed her how to use it. He told her — if Norman moves, shoot him, the girlfriend said.
Then Bryant left. His girlfriend took a photo of Norman on her phone, proof of what happened at her house. She didn’t call authorities. Shortly afterward Bryant returned with Michael McCauley, 42, she added.
“I was scared,” the girlfriend said, adding that Bryant had struck her in the past. “I was scared of Sean.”
Bryant and McCauley face murder accusations in connection with Norman’s death. They appeared Tuesday in court for their preliminary hearing. Judge Linda Sloven will advance the case toward trial, if she decides enough evidence exists.
The judge has made no decision. The hearing continues at 9 a.m. today.
According to the girlfriend, who received immunity in the case, the attack against Norman stemmed from drunken actions he made toward her and her daughter. Bryant and Norman arrived between 9 and 10 a.m. April 15, 2018, at her home in Norman’s vehicle. They both were drunk. At one point Bryant went upstairs. Norman remained in the kitchen.
Norman put his arm around one of her daughters and leaned in, as if he planned to kiss her. He didn’t, but it upset the daughter, she said.
“I think he was just really intoxicated and didn’t know necessarily what was really going on,” the girlfriend said.
She said she went upstairs, woke Bryant and asked him to leave with Norman. She didn’t tell him what happened.
Bryant dressed and walked downstairs. Still intoxicated and unable to eat, Norman fell to the floor when Bryant put his arm around him. At one point Norman grabbed the girlfriend’s leg, saying he wanted her. She again considered Norman’s actions stemmed from his drunkenness. However, Bryant grew angry, grabbed an Airsoft gun and told Norman to apologize, the girlfriend said.
Then the assault began that would end in Norman’s death, she added.
Later that day Bryant brought McCauley to the Sadie D Drive home where Norman, suffering significant injuries, walked in a daze, Detective Andrew Liller testified.
Bryant then asked McCauley if he was “in” or “out,” Liller said.
McCauley saw Norman with marbles shot in his eye and mouth. An arrow was in Norman’s buttocks. Norman could only mumble, Liller added.
“He described it as horrific, a nightmare,” the detective said, adding later: “He said that he was ‘out’ and then he left.”
However, McCauley later returned to the home and struck Norman with a fire poker, Liller said.
The girlfriend testified that Bryant told McCauley to hit Norman with a bat. McCauley hesitated, saying Norman appeared close to death.
“If (McCauley) didn’t do it then he was going to kill Mikey, too,” the girlfriend said.
Later, under Bryant’s direction, McCauley disposed of Norman’s vehicle, a Hummer, in a rural part of Nevada County, Liller testified.
A month later Bryant was jailed on accusations he tortured a woman. A murder charge came days later, followed by McCauley’s June 1, 2018, arrest on the same accusation.
Search warrants obtained for the Sadie D Drive home revealed Norman’s remains in a burn pile and a nearby burial site, Liller said.
Sheriff’s Lt. Robert Jakobs said he began to suspect Bryant after his first interview with him.
Jakobs testified that he learned April 19, 2018, that Norman was missing. The investigation that followed led authorities to Bryant, who was seen with Norman April 14, 2018 — the night before he disappeared.
Jakobs said he spoke April 20, 2018, with Bryant at a South Auburn Street office in Grass Valley that Bryant used as a DJ studio. That interview led Jakobs to consider Bryant a suspect.
“His overall behavior,” Jakobs explained. “It seemed like he was putting on an emotional front.”
Jakobs got Bryant’s cell phone number and obtained his data. He indicated Bryant and Norman’s phones were together the night of April 14, 2018. Video from a Nevada City business showed Bryant and Norman together around 10 p.m. that night.
On May 4, 2018, authorities found Norman’s vehicle, which had been missing. Jakobs said he went to the scene in rural Nevada County, about a 15-minute drive from Cascade Shores. Inside the Hummer authorities found a wooden baseball bat.
“It looked really old and beat up,” Jakobs said. “It had a fair amount of what appeared to be blood on it.”
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.
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