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Date of Issue: August 13, 2008

Koenigs convicted of Normand shooting

/8-13-08/0804-Koenigs-2.jpg
Mark Koenigs listens last week to testimony at his trial for the shooting of Holmes Beach businesswoman Sue Normand at her Island store. Islander Photos: Courtesy Bradenton Herald, photographer Brian Blanco
/8-13-08/0806-Koenigs-1.jpg
Sue Normand explains to the jury during the trial how she saw a flash of light and felt a burning in her hip after she was shot by Mark Koenigs Dec. 5, 2007.

A six-member jury on Aug. 8 convicted Mark Koenigs, 55, of the Dec. 5, 2007, shooting of Island resident Sue Normand, owner of the Island Mail and More on East Bay Drive in Holmes Beach and the chair of the city’s planning commission.

Normand said after the verdict from her store where she worked Saturday, she was “much relieved.”

The jury deliberated less than four hours before returning its guilty verdict on one count of aggravated battery with a firearm and two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. The trial began with jury selection on Monday, Aug. 4.

After Koenigs shot Normand in her store on the morning of Dec. 5, he fled along the shoreline in Bradenton Beach. When Holmes Beach police officers and Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies approached him in the area of the Moose Lodge, he pointed a weapon at them and refused to drop the handgun.

MCSO deputy Angel Buxeda testified at the trial that he then fired four shots at Koenigs, wounding him in the process. Koenigs, who remained jailed since the incident, appeared in court in a wheelchair.

Koenigs attorney, public defender Peter Belmont, argued that the Normand shooting was accidental, but jurors rejected that defense.

Normand was shot in the hip and had to undergo surgery to reconstruct her pelvis. She said she spent 12 days in the hospital following the shooting and currently has to use a cane for assistance, but for many months she relied on a walker or a motorized wheelchair to get around. She has filed a civil suit against Koenigs, seeking to recover some of her medical expenses.

No date for sentencing was set by the court, but Koenigs faces up to life imprisonment for his crimes.

A resident of Bradenton Beach, Koenigs had been a customer of the store prior to the shooting.

While Normand was incapacitated, the store was run by her son and friends from the community.

“The community has been a big help,” said Normand. “I can’t thank everyone enough. They’ve been extremely supportive.”

But Normand still has a civil suit pending against Koenigs, a suit she hopes will help with her mounting medical bills.

“I can’t begin to think about the suit,” she said, “but I have a lot of medical bills and need a lot of help to get them paid.”

Normand said she was “nervous” all week during the trial. “I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. I’m certainly relieved by the outcome.”

The guilty verdict, she said, did not bring closure, but it’s a start.

“Maybe, when I can walk again, I will begin to put this behind me, but that is a long way off,” she said.

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