Two weeks after he was viciously beaten, 27-year-old J.T. Norman is still battling pain, but he’s feeling good about local law enforcement.

J.T. Norman

J.T. Norman

“The Sheriff’s Department has been very helpful with me and in arresting the offenders,” he said a day after a story ran about his assault and the offenders being arrested.

His ex-girlfriend, 29-year-old Samantha Stevens, was charged with kidnapping and her father, 69-year-old Kenneth Eddy, was charged with aggravated assault. The Jones County Sheriff’s Department arrested both suspects and they are out of jail on $5,000 bond each.

   “I am very pleased that they were arrested and are now set for trial,” Norman said. “I would like to know how it goes but, (I’m keeping) my distance to avoid any more trouble. I hope they get what they deserve and respect the decision of the State of Mississippi. I hope they get sentenced and no one else has to go through what I have been through.”

Norman said he is still battling pain in his eye and ribs, three of which were fractured. He also had a fractured orbital socket around his left eye and a knot on his head. He described a horrific beating by two men after Stevens took him from their Ellisville residence to a location just over the Covington County line, where two men beat him on Sept. 17, his 27th birthday. An unidentified black man also hit and kicked him, Norman said. It’s not known if he has been identified or arrested.

“I am just grateful to be alive,” Norman said.

The victim and his father, Todd Norman, reached out to the Leader-Call last week, frustrated when they believed that nothing was being done on the case.

Norman, who works as a technician at WDAM, is also known as a local country music performer. He won the Pine Belt Idol contest at Laurel Ford and was awarded an “express pass” to American Idol tryouts in New Orleans.

The producer there told him he would have been selected “if you had kept your eyes open,” Norman recalled.

He is still having a little trouble keeping that left eye open these days, but he can still see the prize, he said.

“I continue to chip away at the almost indestructible boulder that is the music industry and continue to pray that the good Lord blesses me with an opportunity to reach the next level performing,” he said.

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