The woman claims that despite the coroner's official ruling of his death as a brain hemorrhage due to a drug overdose, she was with him the night before he died and he wasn't taking drugs. She is convinced the bleeding was caused by his assault at the jail several months earlier. "He did not die from an accidental overdose," she wrote. "I was the last person to see him alive."

Another friend of Norton's who asked to remain anonymous confirms that Norton had snitched on a drug dealer several years ago after being arrested for possession of methamphetamine. He claims that the arresting officer was a Garden Grove cop who happened to be a former high-school classmate of Norton's. "He had been busted once, and then got caught again, and he rolled over on some guy," the friend claims. "Everybody knew he rolled on somebody. His name went around the jail: Mark Norton; if he ends up here, he's going to get his ass kicked."

According to the source, Norton never talked about his experience behind bars but seemed to be "on autopilot" after his release, clearly lost in his drug addiction. "He would invite anybody but a cop in uniform to party at his house," the friend says. "He sold all his outfits, everything but the gold record. At the end, he was mowing lawns, doing roofing. He was so desperate for dope."


nschou@ocweekly.com

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