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Date of Issue: February 27, 2008

Witness list long in shooting case

The list of potential witnesses in the case against the man accused of shooting Island businesswoman Sue Normand contains dozens of names.

Many of the names might be familiar to Islanders - they include many members of local public safety agencies, including the Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach police departments, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and the West Manatee Fire Rescue District.

Normand was shot Dec. 5, 2007, in her store in the Anna Maria Island Centre Shops in Holmes Beach. She had just opened Island Mail & More and completed service to a customer when a man, later identified as Mark Koenigs, removed a handgun from a box and fired. Normand was shot once in the abdomen, suffering a shattered hip. She was taken by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, where she had surgery.

Law enforcement officers located Koenigs on the shore in Bradenton Beach. The suspect was shot in the attempt to apprehend him.

Koenigs has remained in custody since his arrest, first at a hospital in St. Petersburg and then in the Manatee County jail.

He has pleaded not guilty to one count of first-degree aggravated battery with a firearm, three counts of first-degree aggravated assault on law enforcement with a firearm and one count of third-degree aggravated assault with a firearm.

On Feb. 20, a brief case management hearing took place at the Manatee County Courthouse in Bradenton and a delay in the trial date was agreed to - from April to at least June.

During the hearing, which lasted less than 10 minutes, the public defender and assistant state’s attorney in the case agreed with Circuit Court Judge Diana Moreland to hold another case management hearing in April.

The judge also was informed that 40 people are on the witness list for the prosecution and that Koenigs’ competency has not yet been discussed.

“I have a doctor who has seen him on one occasion,” public defender Peter Belmont said, adding that he also is waiting to receive some medical records.

Belmont said he hadn’t decided what kind of defense he might pursue, but the state indicated that it expected competency to be an issue in the case.

Potential witnesses include Holmes Beach Police Chief Jay Romine, Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale, Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube, as well as five other HBPD officers, two BBPD officers, 18 MCSO deputies and four West Manatee Fire Rescue District firefighters.

The witness list also includes Normand, Bruce Henke, the Ohio attorney in the store at the time of the shooting, and a number of people outside Island Mail & More or in the vicinity of where Koenigs was shot and arrested.

Meanwhile, Islanders continue to raise money to help cover Normand’s expenses. She returned to her home in Holmes Beach earlier this month, but is not expected to be able to walk for another five months.

Organizers of a bingo night at the Annie Silver Community Center in Bradenton Beach will donate the proceeds from games Thursday, Feb. 28, to the Sue Normand Relief and Recovery Fund.

Also, a garage sale will take place beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 8, at Crosspointe Fellowship, 8605 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, to benefit Normand. Baked goods also will be sold at the fundraiser, which will be sponsored by the church.

Organizer Ed Schultz encouraged people to drop off items - including household, yard and sporting goods - at the church from 9 a.m. to noon March 5, from noon to 4 p.m. March 6-7, and before 9 a.m. March 8.