Guilty plea for man killing former S.C. mayor in traffic accident

Dec. 04, 2012 @ 08:21 PM

GASTONIA — A South Carolina man has entered a guilty plea for causing a traffic accident in which the former mayor of Belmont was killed.

Lester Saunders Norman entered the plea to two counts of second-degree murder on Tuesday. As part of the agreement in Gaston County Superior Court, the 41-year-old Norman was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Police said Norman failed to stop at a license checkpoint on Interstate 85 on Feb. 21. Prosecutors say Norman was on probation for gun charges and had a revoked license, and authorities say Norman nearly struck two officers with his SUV, then tried to escape.

A chase ensued, and Norman's car struck a vehicle driven by Kevin Loftin, the former Belmont mayor. He and passenger Donna Deitz were killed.