Local News

Durham police search warrant released in 81-year-old's slaying

Posted July 3, 2012 8:10 p.m. EDT
Updated July 4, 2012 10:06 a.m. EDT

— A Person County man charged with murder in the shooting death of his 81-year-old mother-in-law allegedly made several false statements to police during interviews leading up to his arrest, according to a search warrant made public Tuesday.

William Grider, 48, of Timberlake, is charged with murder in the death of Altaree Estes Norris, whom police say was found June 24 in the garage of her home on David Street in Durham.

In an affidavit to obtain Grider's fingerprints and hair samples, investigators say Grider told police that Norris had been shot in the head, but they say that it would have been impossible to know that from the position Norris was laying when she was found.

"One would have had to move and manipulate Norris' body to see any evidence of a gunshot wound," police said in the affidavit.

Investigators note that both Grider and his wife said they did not move Norris when they found her.

The affidavit goes on to say that the upstairs bedroom of Norris' home had been ransacked and that a gun and items taken from a jewelry box were found after Grider's arrest on Jan. 27 in a blue gun box partially buried in his neighbor's yard.

Investigators add that Norris had been shot with a small-caliber handgun and that she told her daughter, Grider's wife, on the phone the day of her death that he was at the house with a .38-caliber handgun.

Grider initially said he was not at Norris' house and didn't have a gun but later admitted to being there, cleaning the gun and "hanging out" with Norris.

Witnesses – who were not identified in document – said it would have been "uncharacteristic" for Grider to visit Norris without his wife.

"The witnesses related that Grider and Norris were not particularly fond of each other and that Grider was in serious financial debt to Norris," according to the affidavit.

Grider also told police that he sold the same gun for $250 to a man named Mike but did not offer police any other details about the man.