Preliminary hearing delayed in 81-year-old’s trial |

Preliminary hearing delayed in 81-year-old’s trial

Staff Report
Melvin Norlund confers Friday with his attorney, Kris Brown, in East Fork Justice Court. Norlund, 81, is facing a charge of open murder. He is being held in Douglas County Jail.
Shannon Litz | The Record-Courier

A preliminary hearing for an 81-year-old man accused of murder has been delayed until April 25.

Melvin Norlund appeared Friday in East Fork Justice Court with his court-appointed attorney, Kris Brown.

She asked East Fork Judge Tom Perkins to grant the delay as she and her client review the last of the discovery in the case.

Previously, Brown and Prosecutor Maria Pence asked for a delay to obtain DNA results.

The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine if the crime occurred and if Norlund most likely committed it. It does not determine guilt or innocence.

Norlund is in Douglas County Jail on $1 million bail, charged with open murder with use of a deadly weapon.

He is accused of shooting 51-year-old Catherine Mary Costanza with a shotgun on Nov. 21, 2013, at his Fish Springs residence.

Costanza, of Concord, Calif., was the suspect’s caregiver, according to reports.

Norlund said the shooting was accidental, that it occurred when they struggled with the shotgun.

He reportedly told investigators he “grew tired of arguing” with Costanza and threatened to shoot her dog.