BEDFORD — Having heard about a history of mental health issues and evidence of substance abuse, a judge denied bond Wednesday for a Lynchburg man charged with involuntary manslaughter in the July 4 shooting death of a woman.
Daniel Joseph Norwood, 34, also is facing a charge of recklessly handling a firearm from the shooting, which led to the death of 36-year-old Jessica Ryan Moore.
Moore and Norwood were driving back from a fireworks show in Bedford that night with two small children in the backseat, according to Commonwealth’s Attorney Wes Nance, when Norwood fired off a gun while pointing it at Moore.
Police responded to the scene at about 10 p.m. and Moore was taken to Bedford Memorial Hospital but later died, according to a news release from the time.
Nance said investigators smelled alcohol in the vehicle and saw a container in the passenger seat, where Norwood was sitting. When Norwood took a blood alcohol test at about 3 a.m., well after the shooting, he had an elevated level of 0.116.
Video footage from earlier in the day depicted Norwood appearing to act visibly intoxicated, Nance said.
Jay Finch, the defense attorney representing Norwood, said his client was scheduled to be admitted into outpatient treatment for a number of mental health issues, including PTSD and schizophrenia. He pointed out Norwood has served in the military and jail officers have reported he’s been in stable condition since the shooting.
Nance countered that along with the mental health diagnoses, Norwood has been a daily drinker of alcohol, was put on suicide watch in jail and was taken into custody in an emergency custody order in 2017, which is done for patients who risk injury to themselves or others and bars those it’s served on from possessing guns.
Though Norwood has a limited criminal history, Nance said he has a record of two DUIs and other alcohol-related violations. While the death wasn’t intentional, Nance added more must be done to ensure the community is safe if Norwood is let out on bond.
General District Judge Randy Krantz said he considered Norwood’s alcohol charges and mental health history before denying him bond, which Finch indicated he would appeal to the higher Bedford County Circuit Court.
Norwood is being held in the Bedford County Adult Detention Center and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Sept. 13.