Woman died from drug intoxication and bite wounds, autopsy indicates
Jay Meisel | Highlands Today – Published: October 1, 2014
SEBRING — Three pit bulls once owned by a man who went on a shooting spree in his neighborhood likely contributed to the cause of a woman’s death in a pasture, according to reports released this week.
An autopsy determined that Jessica Norman, whose body was found in a pasture near her residence on April 30, died accidentally, primarily from methamphetamine intoxication. But it added that bites that appeared to come from a canine contributed to the death.
Those bites from the canine or canines came before Norman died, a Highlands County Sheriff’s Office report said.
At the time that Norman would have been in the pasture, neighbors saw the three pit bulls running loose, the report said, adding that the dogs at that time belonged to Lisa Hodge, the widow of Floyd Gene Hodge.
A Highlands County deputy fatally shot Floyd Gene Hodge in early March after Hodge had fired numerous shots at homes on the street where he lived. Neighbors calling about the shooting activity alerted deputies about Hodge’s dogs, saying the animals posed a threat, reports said.
Jessica Dawn Norman
OKEECHOBEE – Jessica Dawn Norman died April 28, 2014. She was born April 15, 1981. Born and raised in Okeechobee, she enjoyed reading, crocheting, horses, cows and the outdoors. She was a member of North Okeechobee Church of God. She had lived in Sebring for a short time. Miss Norman is survived by her daughter, Harli; son, Dawson; father, Henry Norman; mother Brenda Norman all of Okeechobee; sister, Megan Bullock (Amry) of Clarksville, Tennessee; nieces, Elizabeth and Summer; fiancé, Jason Williams of Sebring; uncle, Richard Peacock, Sr. (Christine) of River Ranch. A gathering will be held 1 p.m. until services at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at Buxton & Bass Okeechobee Funeral Home with Pastor Don Leon officiating. Those wishing to leave a message of condolence may sign the register book at, www.OkeechobeeFuneralHome.com All arrangements are entrusted to the direction and care of the Buxton, Bass and Conway families of the Buxton & Bass Okeechobee Funeral Home, 400 North Parrott Avenue, Okeechobee, Florida, 34972. –
2014 Dog Bite Fatality: Dog Bite Injuries Contribute to Florida Woman’s Death
Three Pit Bulls
Sebring, FL – On April 30, Jessica Dawn Norman, 33-years old of Sebring was found naked and dead in a ditch near the back of her property, according to the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office. Police and autopsy reports released this week stated she had both alcohol and methamphetamine in her system and puncture wounds on her body consistent with animal bites. Her death was attributed to methamphetamine intoxication with canine bites listed as a contributing factor.
The ‘bull and terrier’ type was originally developed in England in the early 19th century. The lineage goes back to the mastiff / molosser types, including what we now call the Olde English Bulldogge, that were used for bear-, bull- and horse-baiting from the 12ththrough the 18th century. This isn’t the bear-baiting we think of today, when hunters feed bears in order to bring them out in the open to shoot them. Rather, the bear, bull or horse was confined in a public arena where the mastiff ‘bulldogs’ would slowly tear them apart alive for the public’s amusement1,2,3,4,5.
The popularity of this ‘sport’ declined as education became more emphasized in urban society of the Industrial Revolution and literacy among the population grew (from about 30% in the 17th century to 62% by 1800)6. The ‘sport’ was banned altogether by Act of Parliament in 1835.
The lovers of blood ‘sports’ turned to dogfighting to satisfy their fancy, breeding the large, mastiff-type bulldogs to smaller working terriers to get dogs both smaller and more agile, easier to keep and to hide, but just as willing to attack and fight to the death. With the rise of the kennel clubs and the desire to distinguish dogs by looks and pedigree as well as by performance, this ‘bull and terrier’ type eventually divided into many official breeds. They all share the same ancestry and function, distinguishing themselves mostly by slight differences in appearance.