DECATUR — A coroner’s jury meeting at the Macon County Courthouse on Wednesday morning ruled that Bernard Norvell of Decatur was murdered — returning its verdict a few hours ahead of the court appearance of the man charged with killing him.
Alexander L. Boey, 26, was in court at 1:30 p.m. to plead not guilty to the first-degree murder of Norvell, 35, who was shot to death in the early hours of June 3 outside a home in the 400 block of East Stuart Avenue. Judge R.C. Bollinger found probable cause for Boey, who is being held in the Macon County Jail on $1 million bond, to be tried. A pretrial hearing was set for Sept. 5.
Decatur police issued a warrant for Boey’s arrest soon after the homicide, and he made his first court appearance July 3.
Police detective Jeremy Appenzeller, questioned by Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott, said Boey was named as the shooter by several witnesses. One witness picked his image out of a photo lineup, Appenzeller said.
Defense attorney David Ellison asked the detective if anyone else in the incident had been seen shooting or in possession of a gun.
“Witness statements do state that the victim, Bernard Norvell, arrived with a gun and was shooting at the house,” he said.
Ellison asked no other questions, and no other details of Norvell’s involvement were provided.
At the 10 a.m. inquest, Coroner Michael Day said evidence showed Norvell arrived at East Stuart Avenue to “visit with young females” when the shooting started.
Based on police reports, Day said officers in the area at the time heard multiple shots fired and converged on the shooting scene about 12:45 a.m. to find Norvell mortally wounded. He was pronounced dead in the Decatur Memorial Hospital emergency room at 1:23 a.m.
“Cause of death was a penetrating gunshot wound to the chest,” said Day, who also said it appeared Norvell might have been trying to flee the scene when the fatal shot hit him.
The jury returned its verdict within a few minutes.