Norris family statement
This is the full text of the statement issued by the family of murder victim Sheryl Ann Norris.
Jurors on Thursday sentenced Willie Roy Jenkins to death for the crime.
"We want to express our heartfelt thanks to the jury- no matter what the sentence is-- because we know how hard this case has been. It's not any easy decision. We don't take the verdict lightly and we know the jury didn't. The jurors are the ones who put your lives on hold. You stood up and said "I'll serve." You took time away from your families, your work and you didn't try to get out of serving on a capital murder case.
"We are grateful for putting your lives aside for this case.
"We want to thank this amazing team of prosecutors who have done an astounding job. No words are adequate to express our gratitude to Sherri and Lisa and their teams. Your support, expertise, compassion, knowledge, attention to detail and willingness to see this through have sustained our family.
"We are forever grateful to you!
"We have had incredible support in the courtroom-- from Police Chief Howard Williams, Victims Services Coordinator Roya Williamson, Leticia Nino, the San Marcos Police Department, court workers, the San Marcos and Hays County community-- and complete strangers. Everyone we've come in contact with has been tremendous.
"Hays County has done it right and rallied around us.
"We cannot begin to find adequate words to thank Commander Penny Dunn. Without her relentless efforts for 17 years we wouldn't be here today. She is the crux of this whole investigation. She never gave up, even when she was beaten down.She suffered frustrations, hit brick walls, but never gave up. We are grateful for All of her team along the way -- they have assisted her through the years- especially Scott Johnson.
"We are humbled by the witnesses who came forward-- the women who suffered so and had the courage to get on the stand and speak of unspeakable things before strangers. Words are not sufficient to describe our appreciation and admiration of your courage.
"We hope this case-- the oldest cold case in Texas to be solved--will bring other victims a sense of peace, closure and allow them to move on with their lives.
"Our faith has sustained us all these years and we know God put all the pieces of this puzzle together in His perfect timing to make this happen. We would like to thank all of those who prayerfully supported us and lifted us up through all of this.
"When we called our mother after the verdict, we asked Penny to give her the news about the guilty verdict. Our mother told us that it was like a suit of armor that she has worn for 37 and a half years had fallen away. That great weight was lifted off.
"Our father did not make it to this day but he would have felt the same way.
"Sheryl has finally received her justice--her day in court."