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Collecting Insurance Money ‘Like A Sweepstakes’ Man Accused Of Killing Relative Testifies He Split $460,000 Insurance Payoff

Sun., April 2, 1995

A Pasco man accused of killing his brother-in-law in 1982 testified that the insurance money he received for the death was similar to winning a sweepstakes.

Dale Norwick also testified he wouldn’t cooperate with an insurance investigator in the case because he didn’t like the investigator’s questions. He said he also believed the investigator had access to the information through another source.

“I didn’t like his demeanor one bit,” Norwick said in his second day on the stand Friday. “I didn’t like the game he was playing. You bet I was stubborn.”

Norwick, a former insurance salesman and horse trainer, is charged in Benton County Superior Court with first-degree murder in the death of William Jewell. Prosecutors allege Norwick pushed his brother-in-law off a cliff. The Nov. 10, 1982, death was initially ruled an accidental fall.

Norwick is also charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit murder for allegedly plotting to kill two other men in 1991 and 1993 for insurance money, plus one count of first-degree theft and possession of stolen property. Neither man was harmed.

Norwick, testifying in his own defense, was questioned by his attorneys, Robert Thompson and Dan Arnold, for about five hours Thursday. He was crossexamined Friday by Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller for about the same length of time.

Norwick testified Friday he was one of two beneficiaries on a $460,000 life insurance policy for Jewell because he was to have been the guardian of the child Jewell and his wife, Gerri, were expecting.

That child, a girl, was born a few months after William Jewell died.

Gerri Jewell, who is Norwick’s sister, was the other beneficiary.

Norwick and Gerri Jewell each collected $230,000 when William Jewell died.

“Did you give any of the $230,000 you received for the upbringing of (the) child?” Miller asked.

“No,” Norwick said, adding he still intended to care for the child if his sister died.

“If something happened to Gerri, up until I was arrested I would have been more than happy and more than financially able to help the child,” Norwick testified.

“But did you save any of the money?” Miller asked.

“No,” Norwick replied.

“Wasn’t it your attitude after Mr. Jewell died that the insurance company had no right to investigate and talk to your family other than to look at medical records?” Miller asked.

“Anything more was outside the scope of his duties,” Norwick answered.

“Did you say to (the investigator), ‘I don’t want to sound cold, but this is like winning a sweepstakes?”’ Miller asked.

“That sounds like me,” Norwick answered.

Norwick’s attorneys will have an opportunity to ask him more questions Monday, and Miller will get a second chance to cross examine.

Friday’s testimony marked the end of the trial’s third week.

Tags: murder, trial

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