Local News

Son-in-law charged in 81-year-old's death in Durham

Posted June 28, 2012

— Person County sheriff's deputies arrested a Timberlake man Wednesday night in the shooting death of his mother-in-law, who was found in the garage of her Durham home on Sunday.

William "Bill" Grider, 48, of Fletchers Ridge Road, was arrested about 11:30 p.m. and charged with murder in the death of Altaree Estes Norris, 81, Durham police said.

Grider, who appeared in Durham County District Court on Thursday in a wheelchair, was denied a request to be released on bond so that he could seek medical treatment for a lung condition.

Authorities have not said what might have led to the shooting, and have released few details about the crime.

Investigators searched Norris' David Street home on Tuesday, and police have released a 911 call from a man who said it appeared that Norris had fallen and hit her head.

When the dispatcher told the man to get a towel to slow the bleeding, he said he couldn't.

"(He) won't let me inside the house to get a cloth," the caller said. "He's being obnoxious."

Because the 911 call was altered to protect the caller's identity, it's unclear who was inside the house and the person's relationship, if any, to Norris or the caller.

Authorities said Grider, a father of two, surrendered peacefully when deputies picked him up at his home Wednesday.

William Grider Man faces charges in mother-in-law's death

Other than a reckless driving charge in 1996, he does not appear to have a criminal record.

Norris' family did not want to talk about Grider's arrest when reached for comment Thursday.

"We would just like to extend our appreciation for the prayers and support of the community and also for the work of the Durham Police Department," her son-in-law, Dennis Keith, said. "The family is preparing for services on Sunday and Monday that we hope will be a fitting end to a life well-lived."

Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at First Baptist Church in Durham, where she had been an active member for 55 years.

Neighbors said that Norris, a mother of two and grandmother of four, including Grider's son from a previous relationship, had lived alone since her husband of 46 years died several years ago, but she remained active in the community.

According to her obituary, she was a lifelong Durham resident who enjoyed gardening and serving others.

Lifelong friend Nancy Frantel described Norris as a "wonderful example of just how people should treat each other."

"She was an amazing lady, and because of her humility, a lot of people don't understand the kind of person she was," Frantel said. "She would unselfishly help others and deny herself of things she wanted to do. But she did it very lovingly – it's what she wanted to do."


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  • kendallbugsmimi2 Jun 29, 2012

    I wish he could get the death penalty ..He makes me sick at my stomach...Susan my heart goes out to you and your son. Your family are in my prayers.

  • redant Jun 29, 2012

    Oh so the killer is from Person County and the Durham citizen wast he victim. Where are the Person County bashers or does the bashing only apply when the suspect is from Durham?

  • Hops44 Jun 28, 2012

    Health care for residents of the state department of corrections has always been free, even for those convicted of heinous crimes. And correct me if I'm wrong, but the death penalty (lethal injection)in NC is still on the books. The issue is with the physicians being threatened with losing their licenses if they participate in executions.

  • abbynork Jun 28, 2012

    There is no death penalty in NC.

    How do you get money from those who have none? They get free health care.

  • sniperdiver Jun 28, 2012

    Enjoy the easy life in prison. 3 meals a day, someone else does your laundry. very good medical at a cheap price, T.V., Recreation area, so one and so forth. your 48, trial by 52, 2nd degree murder conviction w/

  • fayncmike Jun 28, 2012

    "he deserves the chair!


    I do not know quite how to break this to you but the electric chair has been outlawed for many years. Also it is unlikely that his offense will qualify for the death penalty. Also though of course all the facts are not in I doubt that the gentleman's crime will rise to the severity of life without the possibility of parole. He may well die of old age in prison or at best be very elderly when he is released from prison.

  • fayncmike Jun 28, 2012

    "There is no death penalty in NC, SFSOLDIER. But there is free health care now.

    First of all, what has one thing to do with the other? Second who told you that there is free health care? Third, what we have just gotten in the new healthcare reform does not go nearly far enough and in seventy five years too late.

  • carolinarox Jun 28, 2012

    There is no death penalty in NC, SFSOLDIER. But there is free health care now. abbynork

    No, there is not free health care now, people either need to have insurance or pay a fine. Everyone has an opinion of the Affordable Health Care Act, but few bother to learn what it is all about. The death penalty is also on still on the books in NC.

  • slickgirl24 Jun 28, 2012

    @useless, thank you for calling that out there. I was thinking "WTH" does that have to due with anything???? So according to raleighindependent's logic... The "Green Goblin" that was arrested shouldn't be guilty of robbery because he was a "firefighter", and "firefighters" save lives so he couldn't have done it. Where in the world has all the COMMON SENSE GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • abbynork Jun 28, 2012

    There is no death penalty in NC, SFSOLDIER. But there is free health care now.