IIn the week before Mendocino County reggae musician Jamal Andrews was gunned down in front of his Redwood Valley home, the man suspected of killing him went on paranoid, profanity-laced verbal tirades in which he accused the victim of having an affair with his estranged wife, according to court evidence and testimony.
The suspect, Billy Norbury, directly threatened to harm Andrews in a Jan. 17 phone conversation, his wife, Brittany Norbury, testified.
Two phone messages Billy Norbury left on his wife's voicemail also were played in court Thursday. One was heavy with profanity, racial and sexual slurs and accusations. The other also included profanity but was apologetic for accusations made in the first. The calls were made a few days before the shooting.
They contradict Billy Norbury's claim that he did not know who Andrews was and provide a motive for the Jan. 24 killing.
Norbury, 34, is accused of driving to Andrews' home and shooting him twice with a high-powered hunting rifle.
In addition to his jealousy, Norbury also falsely believed Andrews, whom he called "Jamar," had turned him in to police for growing marijuana, Brittany Norbury testified. Both men grew pot, according to testimony at trial. Brittany Norbury said her husband often worried that neighboring pot growers would turn on him if they were confronted by police.
Billy Norbury had become increasingly paranoid in 2011, his wife said. He believed he was being watched and monitored -- primarily by police -- through the TV, radio, cellphone and listening devices planted under the house, as well as by helicopters and airplanes, Brittany Norbury said. He periodically suspected family members were colluding with the phantom observers. She cited a number of examples, including asking his brother to cover his mouth while talking so people in helicopters could not read his lips.
If Norbury is convicted, a second trial will be held to determine whether he was insane at the time of the killing.
Brittany Norbury was often emotional during her testimony. She fainted during a hearing while the jury was absent. While on the courtroom floor, she was tended to by Andrews' brother, a paramedic, who was in the audience. She mumbled something that indicated she felt she was somehow to blame.
During her testimony, she explained her distress, saying she's a mother of three and it is painful to think of Andrews' child, who is now fatherless.