Jacksonville Man Charged with Reckless Homicide in Single Vehicle Accident on Route 36

By Jeremy Coumbes on March 19, 2021 at 4:18pm

A Jacksonville man has been charged with reckless homicide following a single-vehicle accident that claimed the life of his passenger.

20-year-old Jayden P. Norton was booked into the Morgan County Jail at approximately 8:00 this morning by Morgan County Sheriff’s Deputies.

Norton is accused of being behind the wheel during the early morning hours of September 30th when a Sheriff’s Deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop on an eastbound vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed by the viaduct on East Morton Avenue.

The Deputy terminated the pursuit after Norton’s vehicle performed a U-turn and later shut off its lights while traveling west on Morton Avenue. According to reports, about 15 minutes later 9-1-1- dispatch received a report of a single-vehicle accident on Old Route 36 near Witty Road.

Norton was found walking along the road and according to accident reports, admitted to authorities he was the driver of the vehicle and had been drinking. The passenger in Norton’s vehicle, 19-year-old Joshua Gordley was pronounced dead at the scene.

Norton made a first appearance in Morgan County Court today and was charged with reckless homicide, a class 3 felony, aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude police, a class 4 felony, and unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor, a class A misdemeanor.

Norton entered a plea of not guilty. Bond was set at $50,000 with 10% to apply, and the case was continued to April 22nd at 2:00 pm for a pretrial conference. Norton has posted bond and was released. He was ordered by the court not to operate a motor vehicle while he is out on bond.