Loss of deputy remembered

Thirty-six years ago this week, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and its extended family sustained a significant blow with the loss of Deputy Sheriff Dennis R. Allred, 30. Deputy Allred was shot and killed April 19, 1978, during a traffic stop on Illahee Road in the East Bremerton.

Three occupants of the vehicle were later arrested in connection with Deputy Allred’s death. Two were convicted and sentenced to terms in prison as accomplices. The third, Nedley G. Norman Jr., was convicted of first degree murder in October 1978 and sentenced to death.

In 1981 the Washington State Supreme Court declared the death penalty law at the time to be unconstitutional. Norman’s sentence was reduced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Ten years later, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals re-sentenced Norman to life in prison, with parole as possibility after 50 years.

Recalculating a release date with time off for good conduct, Norman has been able to skim his sentence down to 33 years.

Some 35 years and six months later, Norman remains confined within the state’s Airway Heights Corrections Center near Spokane. He now faces his third opportunity for parole following a hearing before the state’s Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB).

“With one selfish act made in 1978, Nedley Norman changed the lives of many,” said Chief Gary Simpson, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office Chief of Patrol Operations, in a recent letter addressed to the review board.  “Deputy Allred is dead; the victimized family has suffered tremendously ever since; the law enforcement community continues to be impacted by this murder and the general public continues to remember.”

Norman’s hearing was held March 10 in Olympia. Representing the sheriff’s office at the hearing were Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer and Chief Simpson. Also appearing before the ISRB was Ms. Ione George, Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, representing the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office.

“Even with the passing of time, the murder of Deputy Allred has not been forgotten,” said Chief Simpson in remarks delivered before the board.  “As you can well imagine law enforcement, and specifically Kitsap County law enforcement, are very concerned about any possibility if inmate Nedley Norman being released from custody.

“If it is predictable, it is preventable,” added the chief in reference to a quote attributed to risk management consultant Gordon Graham. “It is predictable that Nedley Norman cannot function in our society in a safe manner… continued incarceration is the preventable action necessary in keeping our communities safe.”

Simpson quoted an earlier IRSB parole hearing report during his presentation, noting that the board’s top priority must be public safety. “I appeared before this board in 2009 and 2011.  I asked the Board then to continue his incarceration for as long as you legally can do so. My request today is the same: our concerns have not changed; our request has not changed; he has not changed; his incarceration status should not change.

“These are circumstances a family and community cannot wash away or forget,” added the chief.  “It is forever part of our being, forever a part of our lives.”


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