A man who raped and then stomped his pregnant girlfriend to death in front of her four children will spend at least the next 25 years in state prison.
Michael Donyell Norwood, 39, pleaded guilty Monday in Montgomery County Court to one count of second-degree murder in exchange for a sentence of 25 years to life, the maximum allowed for the crime, Montgomery County District Attorney Jed Conboy said.
In exchange for his plea, he avoided a potential sentence of life without the possibility of parole, the maximum sentence allowed for first-degree murder.
The children of Beth Ann Logan, ages 9 to 13, witnessed much of the March 28 attack inside their Amsterdam apartment. Three of the four testified before a grand jury, Conboy said.
Monday’s guilty plea also prevents the children from having to testify again, Conboy said.
“The main witnesses in the case were going to be Beth’s children,” Conboy said later Monday. “So we have a real incentive not to make them relive this incident in front of a jury.
“I think, for all involved, this was the best resolution.”
Norwood, 39, faced a host of charges that accused him of causing Logan’s death, including first-degree murder and first-degree rape, as well as the second-degree murder count. The first-degree murder charge was based on the rape accusation.
Norwood was accused of raping and repeatedly stomping and kicking the pregnant Logan to death just before midnight on March 28 inside her 20 Garden St. apartment. Authorities said Norwood was wearing work boots during the attack.
Logan’s 9-year-old daughter ran from the apartment after the attack to get help from a neighbor.
“Obviously, this incident is going to stay with them for the rest of their lives,” Conboy said.
Logan, who previously lived in Schenectady, underwent emergency surgery at Albany Medical Center but succumbed to her injuries days later.
Although Logan was pregnant, Norwood could not be charged with causing the death of the unborn child, Conboy has said. Authorities determined Logan’s pregnancy to be 13 weeks along. The threshold for a separate murder charge related to an unborn child is a pregnancy that is at least 24 weeks along, according to Conboy and state penal law.
All of Logan’s children remain in foster care, Conboy said.
Told of the proceedings later Monday, Logan’s sister Antonette Reed said she understood the legalities of the plea deal, but that she wishes he could have gotten the death penalty.
Still, she saw some justice in the anticipated 25-years-to-life sentence.
“It’s a fitting sentence for a scumbag who does things like that in front of little kids,” Reed said.
Logan’s mother Darlene Feocco offered similar thoughts.
“He should rot for what he did,” she said. “He didn’t only destroy Beth’s life, he destroyed her four kids’ lives. That’s something her kids are never going to forget.”
Reed said the family gets updates on how the children are doing. They’re in good places and getting the help they need, Reed said.
“I hope, now, the kids can finish the healing process and find closure,” Reed said.
Norwood is represented by Andrew DeLuca with the Montgomery County Public Defender’s Office’s. He could not be reached for comment later Monday.
Sentencing is set for December.
Monday’s plea also avoids the case having to be handed off to the county’s new district attorney come Jan. 1. The trial had been tentatively scheduled for February.
Conboy is retiring at the end of the year, and voters are to select his successor next week.
Judge Felix Catena presided over the case.
Reach Gazette reporter Steven Cook at 395-3122, [email protected] or @ByStevenCook on Twitter.