Created: Thu, 09 Jan 2014 05:29:00 MST
Updated: Thu, 09 Jan 2014 06:40:12 MST
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- The man accused of killing his girlfriend and leaving her body outside the Colorado National Monument pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Thursday.
On July 2nd of last year, a group of tourists found the body of 49-year-old Kathy Fortner outside the west entrance of the Colorado National Monument.
Court officials say the penalty for the guilty plea will range from 16 to 48 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections.
Family members of Fortner believe that sentence is not harsh enough.
“I definitely feel that it should be longer,” said Angie Trawick, sister of Kathy Fortner. “He sentenced her to death.”
Fortner’s mother had similar feelings on the case.
“He knows he is guilty,” said Judy Wilson, Fortner’s mother. “I hope he stays in jail for the rest of his life.”
Family members were shocked to hear Norman’s other charges, which included four habitual-criminal charges and tampering with evidence, were dismissed.
Fortner’s family says the District Attorneys said they would not move forward with a plea agreement without the family’s consent.
While the family says they had no idea this agreement took place, the District Attorneys told the court on Thursday that the family had agreed to those terms.
The sentencing is scheduled for March 14th.