May 21, 2018
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Auburn woman pleads not guilty to murder in death of her 2½-year-old daughter

By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — An Auburn woman charged with murder in connection with the death of her 2½-year-old daughter pleaded not guilty during her Friday morning arraignment at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

Leanna Norris, 24, who police say is formerly from Stetson, is being held without bail at the Penobscot County Jail until her harnish hearing, where a bail amount may be set or bail may be denied. She was arrested July 3 and taken into custody from a medical facility in Rockport where she had been receiving treatment, according to Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland.

State police say the girl, Loh Melody Grenda, died the evening of June 23 in Newport and her body was discovered early the next morning inside a car in Stetson.

Norris is being represented by a court-appointed attorney from Bangor, Martha J. Harris. Norris walked into Friday’s court appearance wearing a black T-shirt, jeans and shackles around her ankles.

During the arraignment, Superior Court Justice Ann Murray read the charge that Norris “did intentionally or knowingly cause the death of Loh Grenda,” and asked Norris if she understood the charge.

Norris nodded slowly, but was asked to respond audibly. She quietly said she understood and then entered her not guilty plea.

Details of what led up the the girl’s death have not been released.

No affidavit laying out the reasons for her arrest has been filed with the court because Norris was indicted by a grand jury before her arrest, court officials said.

The chief medical examiner’s office has said the manner of Loh Grenda’s death is pending, but is a homicide.

Norris was indicted June 26 by the Penobscot County grand jury but the indictment was sealed pending her arrest.

If convicted of murder, Norris faces between 25 years and life in prison.

She is one of 11 defendants facing murder or manslaughter charges in Penobscot County.

The other defendants are: Kyle Dube, 20, of Orono; William Hall, 31, of Bangor; Roxanne Jeskey, 50, of Bangor; Jason A. Trickett, 42, transient; Nicholas J. Sexton, 32, of Warwick, R.I.; Randall “Ricky” Daluz, 35, of Brockton, Mass.; Dustin Brown, 29, of Bangor; Akeem T. Harris, 24, of Amityville, N.Y.; David Coon, 50, of Bangor; and Peter Robinson, 50, of Bradford, who is awaiting sentencing.

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