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Suspects in Longview man's murder have varied backgrounds

By Richard Yeakley and Sarah Thomas ryeakley@news-journal.comsthomas@news-journal.com
Dec. 26, 2012 at 10 p.m.

The three people charged with capital murder in the slaying of Ronnie Joe Gammage came from varied backgrounds.

One is a soldier from Arlington who was stationed at Fort Polk in Louisiana. Two were lifelong Longview residents who attended private Christian schools.

The three are charged in connection with an unusually violent crime - luring a mentally disabled man into the woods, beating him, slitting his throat and setting his body on fire.

The third suspect - Andrew Conrad Norwine, 21 - was arrested about 1 a.m. Tuesday by military police at Fort Polk, about 10 miles east of Leesville, La.

He was handed over to Vernon Parish sheriff's deputies and booked into the Vernon Parish Jail.

Norwine, a private first class, enlisted for active duty in the U.S. Army in June 2011 as an infantryman and was assigned to Fort Polk in January, said Mark Edwards, media relations chief for the U.S. Army Human Resources Command.

"Our records indicate he is still assigned there," Edwards said. "I have no record of any deployments or any awards he has earned."

Officials at Fort Polk were not available for comment.

Norwine was born in Tarrant County, according to state records. He is from Arlington, where he attended Martin High School - a public school in the Arlington Independent School District.

The two capital murder suspects from Longview, Sarah Haslam, 20, and Daniel Paul Jones, 19, both have private school backgrounds.

Haslam attended St. Mary's Catholic School before attending Longview Christian School, and Jones participated in athletics at Christian Heritage School of Longview.

Haslam attended St. Mary's Catholic School through elementary school. She graduated from Longview Christian School in 2011. While her Facebook page said she attended Kilgore College, a spokesman for the school said there was no record of her attendance.

Longview Christian School officials confirmed Haslam attended school there.

A "typical student" was the way Father Gavin Vaverek of St. Mary's remembered her.

"She had to work hard to maintain a positive attitude, which is not uncommon for a young person," he said.

Vaverek extended his sympathies to the families of Gammage, Haslam and Jones.

"I'm saddened for the family of the tragedy and all those involved," he said. "I pray for the family of the victim and for the conversion of the souls of the perpetrators."

News-Journal sports coverage showed Jones was a key member of the Christian Heritage School soccer and basketball teams.

School officials could not be reached to confirm Jones attended the school.

He was last enrolled in Kilgore College during the spring 2012 semester, according to college spokesman Chris Craddock.

Jones and Haslam were arrested Dec. 19 and charged with aggravated kidnapping and capital murder in connection with the slaying. They remained in the Gregg County Jail on Wednesday, being held under $1.3 million bond each.

Authorities said Gammage, 27, was killed Dec. 5. His mother reported him missing to the Longview Police Department Dec. 8, and his body was found Dec. 19 in rural Upshur County.

Officials have not said how Norwine knew Haslam and Jones.

The Longview Police Department considers the case closed.



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