Trainer Norman Charged with DWI
by Leslie Deckard
Date Posted: 11/29/2007 5:53:55 PM

Cole Norman
Photo: Jeff Coady

Trainer Cole Norman was arrested and charged Nov. 26 with driving while intoxicated, hit and run, simple criminal property damage, and possession of the drugs Lortab and Xanax without a prescription in his hometown of Haughton, La.

According to Lt. Ed Baswell, public information officer for the Bossier Sheriff's Office, said the 38-year-old conditioner had been held on a $102,000 bond at the Bossier Maximum Security Facility and was released and relocated Nov. 27 to Brentwood Hospital, where he was admitted to the in-patient treatment facility. A court date is yet to be set.

Based on police reports, Norman was arrested around 2:30 p.m. after a witness called authorities saying he observed Norman hitting a row of 10 mailboxes and leaving the scene in his 2007 Cadillac Escalade. Baswell said Norman appeared lethargic and had poor dexterity when arrested by authorities, and admitted to taking Lortab, a painkiller, and Xanax, used to treat anxiety disorders, and to purchasing the drugs on the street.

In addition, officers found two Xanax and four Lortab in a paper bag on his vehicle's seat. Norman admitted to purchasing the drugs on the street.

This is the second time within the year that Norman has been jailed in connection with a car accident.

In February, Norman was a driver in a fatal accident just south of Hot Springs, Ark. Virginia Heath, an 86-year-old relative of former President Bill Clinton, was killed.

Arkansas state police said Norman was headed north when his vehicle crossed the center line, striking Heath's vehicle head-on.

Norman was traveling from Bossier City, La., to Hot Springs, a common trip for the nine-time leading trainer at Louisiana Downs. He also has held that title six times at Hot Springs' Oaklawn Park.

The Lafayette, La., native declined medical treatment at the scene and was not seriously injured. At the time, he told Arkansas State Police he was tired and may have fallen asleep at the wheel.

Post-wreck toxicology reports showed Norman was driving under the influence of several strong narcotics, including Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, and another unspecified drug.

He was charged with felony manslaughter May 7 and was released on $7,500 bond May 10, according to the Garland County, Ark., sheriff's office.

Trial for that case is set to start Feb. 14, according to Garland County, Ark., clerk of court records. If convicted, Norman faces three to 10 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.


 



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