A Maine woman convicted in a murder-for-hire case has died in a Maine prison.
Norma Small, 83, died at 12:17 a.m. Sunday at the Maine Women’s Center in Windham, according to Anna Black, a spokesperson for the Maine Department of Corrections.
The Maine attorney general’s office, medical examiner’s office and state police have been notified of her death, as is standard procedure.
Read more about the Norma Small Case
Small was convicted in 2002 for the murder-for-hire slaying of her husband, 46-year-old Mervin “Sonny” Grotton, in December 1983. Grotton, a Navy petty officer, was returning to his Wright Street home in Belfast when he was shot three times execution style as he approached the front door.
Small was a prime suspect early on, but the case languished for 17 years before investigators caught a break in the case.
Small, who had moved to Gas, Kansas, in the late 1990s, was arrested May 9, 2001, while traveling through Iola, Kansas. Small, Joel Fuller and Boyd Smith, the ex-boyfriend of one of Small and Grotton’s daughters, were charged with murder.
In the trials, the state contended that Small asked Smith to help her find someone to kill her husband. Smith testified that he approached Fuller and told him what Small wanted.
But only Small was convicted. She was found guilty by a Sagadahoc Superior Court jury in 2002 of her husband’s murder and of the theft of more than $180,000 in survivor benefits she collected from the Navy. Fuller and Smith were found not guilty.
At the time of her death, Small was serving a 60-year prison sentence. She would have been eligible for release in February 2041.