Judge denies suspect’s request for Christmas release

Published 10:22 am Wednesday, December 30, 2015

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A Shelby County Circuit Court judge denied a theft suspect’s hand-written request for a lower bond so she could spend the Christmas holidays with her family, and the suspect remains incarcerated in the Shelby County Jail.



The Alabaster Police Department arrested 46-year-old Rebecca Ann Norton on Aug. 14 and charged her with one felony count of first-degree theft of property and three felony counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument.

According to her arrest warrants, Norton allegedly embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from an Alabaster-based company between August 2013 and August of this year.

Norton has remained in the Shelby County Jail on bonds totaling $500,000 since her August arrest. In a bond recommendation request filed with Norton’s arrest warrants, the District Attorney’s Office claimed more charges may come against Norton in the future, and claimed the suspect would be a flight risk if she is released from jail.

On Dec. 18, Norton penned a letter to Judge Dan Reeves asking him to lower her bond from a total of $500,000 to $100,000 to allow her a chance to post bond and be home for Christmas.

“I have asked my attorney to request (a bond reduction) several times, but he has not because he didn’t know how much to request,” Norton wrote. “I am just praying desperately to be with my children for Christmas and between my family and friends, we can possibly make it happen.

“I am responsible for my actions and would never run from them. I never have,” she wrote. “My story is complicated, but I have never waivered in my faith that I will have this behind me and be and have a clean slate for the rest of my life.”

Norton remains in jail, and is scheduled to appear in Shelby County Circuit Court on Jan. 12, 2016, for a preliminary hearing at 8:30 a.m.

The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office is seeking harsher-than-normal punishments in its prosecution of Norton, claiming “the offense involved an attempted or actual taking or receipt of property of great monetary value, or damage causing great monetary loss to the victim.”