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What you need to know for 10/19/2017

DA: Man admits to wife's ax murder

DA: Man admits to wife's ax murder

Defendant to get 20 years to life in prison
DA: Man admits to wife's ax murder
Michael Norton enters Hadley Town Court in May.
Photographer: Daily Gazette file photo

HADLEY — The man accused of using an ax to kill his wife in May admitted to the act Thursday, the Saratoga County District Attorney's Office said.

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Michael Norton, 58, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder and admitted he killed Sherry Norton at their Hadley home the night of May 2 into May 3, prosecutors said.

Michael Norton is to receive 20 years to life in state prison at his January sentencing.

Sherry Norton, 52, was found dead early May 3 inside the 7 Third Ave. home after sheriff's deputies responded to a call.

Norton pleaded guilty during a hearing in the case. The hearing began earlier in the week and ended Thursday with his plea.

District Attorney Karen Heggen, in a news release, praised the efforts of the Saratoga County Sheriff's Department, the state police and prosecutor Jennifer L. Buckley in bringing the case to an end.

The evidence collected and analyzed, Heggen said, supported and corroborated that Norton committed the acts.

"I believe it's a good resolution," Heggen said. "He's admitted responsibility for causing a very brutal death to his wife."

Michael Norton had been free on $20,000 bond, awaiting sentencing in an April 2016 reckless endangerment case related to his wife. 

The murder case pushed off that sentencing and left him open to the maximum sentence in that case, 2.3 to 7 years. He had been set to receive probation.

Thursday's plea included the prior case, Heggen said. Whatever sentence he receives in that case will run at the same time as the murder sentence.

Sherry Norton has been recalled by family members as a generous, hard-working woman who loved her family and loved going to church. She had a 19-year-old daughter.

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