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Cobb man gets life for killing man and putting body in dumpster


Cobb District Attorney Flynn Broady announced that a Cobb County man, Garfield Royes Norris, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after a jury found him guilty of the malice murder of James Creighton in 2021 and the disposal of his body in a dumpster. 

A Cobb jury convicted Norris, 54, of malice murder, concealing the death of another, theft by taking, and other related offenses. Superior Court Judge Julie Adams Jacobs sentenced Norris to life without parole. Norris also received 23-year and 12-month sentences, to run consecutively.

On October 9, 2021, the Cobb County police responded to a report at an office park located off Chastain Meadows Court in Kennesaw. A “suspicious, foul-smelling package” had been discovered in a dumpster, prompting an investigation by law enforcement and the Cobb Medical Examiner’s Office. 

Subsequently, it was determined that the package contained a deceased individual. This package was found to contain multiple layers of plastic, ratchet straps, tape, cardboard, a dog tether, and other miscellaneous items. While the exact cause of death was undetermined, it was classified as a homicide.

The victim was later identified as Creighton, who had been reported missing on September 21, 2021. Creighton was a dedicated employee of AT&T for over two decades and had never missed work, according to prosecutors. 

Concerns arose among his coworkers and friends when he failed to appear for work on a particular day. Further investigation revealed that Creighton’s device had last been detected in the Kennesaw area, which led authorities to focus their attention on individuals associated with that location, with Garfield Norris emerging as a person of interest.

Police eventually determined that Norris had taken possession of Creighton’s BMW within hours of the disappearance. Norris used the vehicle for multiple trips to his storage facility in the subsequent days. 

During the investigation, Norris was arrested, and evidence was uncovered, including a fake bill of sale for the BMW with Creighton’s forged signature, as well as messages related to law enforcement actions during missing persons investigations. Additionally, Norris’s wife reported that the BMW had a strong odor.

Senior Assistant District Attorneys Stephanie Green and Paul Camarillo prosecuted the case. Green said in a statement. “This defendant spent countless hours wrapping James up and multiple weeks harboring his dead body. This sentence ensures he will die in prison for his heinous actions.”

Geolocation data also played a crucial role in the investigation, indicating that Norris had visited the dump site location where the body was found at least four times in the two weeks following Creighton’s disappearance before ultimately disposing of the body there, as per prosecutors.


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