A Pima County grand jury has issued indictments for two Tucson men accused of slaying two women three days apart in unrelated cases.
Michael Donald Norris, 49, was indicted on a second-degree murder charge in the Jan. 8 death of Debra Scotko, 51, and Tyler Christopher Gunn, 47, was indicted on a first-degree murder charge in the Jan. 11 death of Katherine Lemberg, 37.
Norris had originally been arrested on a first-degree murder charge and Gunn was originally facing a second-degree murder charge.
On Jan. 8, the Tucson Police Department called the Pima County Sheriff’s Department after officers discovered Scotko’s body near a homeless camp north of the 6400 block of East Grant Road and realized it was in the sheriff’s department’s jurisdiction.
Officers had been dispatched to the area after receiving three calls about a man killing his wife, including one from a church in Riverside, Calif., according to court documents.
Shortly after the deputies arrived, they found Norris, who matched the description given by the people who called 911, and detained him. They also found what appeared to be a partially dug grave.
Two women told deputies they went into the wash after receiving a call from Norris stating he had killed Scotko, whom he referred to as his wife, court documents state. The women said they found Norris and he threatened to kill them after first pointing at a grave with a shovel he was holding. They also said he began to chase them with a rock.
Detectives also spoke with a man from Kure for All Nations church in Riverside, Calif., who told them Norris had called the church 15 times. During those conversations, the man said Norris confessed to killing “his wife” and said he was digging a grave for her, court documents state.
Norris remains in the Pima County jail on $250,000 bail.
On Jan. 11, the residents of a home the 3900 block of North Four Winds Drive called the sheriff’s department to report they’d come home to find Lemberg dead in a bedroom of their home and their son, Tyler Gunn, unconscious on the living room floor, court documents state.
Paramedics found Lemberg with her shirt pushed up and her pants pulled down, according to court documents. They also saw she had a bruise to the right cheek and a cut to her right eyebrow.
Gunn’s parents told detectives that when they woke their son up, he told them Lemberg had killed herself, court documents state. They also told detectives Lemberg had a history of suicide attempts.
Gunn told detectives Lemberg had been discussing suicide for weeks and he researched painless suicide methods on the Internet, according to court documents.
He also told detectives Lemberg put a plastic bag over her head at Redington Pass and he taped the bag around her neck, according to court documents. He said he then pumped helium through a tube into the bag.
Detectives seized a helium tank and hose from Gunn’s vehicle, along with other items, court documents show.
Gunn remains in the Pima County jail on $25,000 bail.
Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or firstname.lastname@example.org