Norton says he did not abuse his wife 

Accused wife-killer Quincy Norton took the stand at his murder trial Wednesday, describing a tumultuous relationship with frequent separations and infidelities but flatly denying any violence.

The 33-year-old is charged with first-degree murder in the July 22, 2006, stabbing death of Tamika Mack Norton, 31. Prosecutors have told jurors that Norton was a batterer who killed his wife after she filed for divorce.

Norton, who will continue his testimony and face cross-examination today, said his relationship with wife Tamika Mack Norton became rocky shortly after it began in 1996.

During the decade-long relationship, Norton moved in and out of the home 15 to 20 times, he said. It was during one of these separations in 1999 that Norton became romantically involved with childhood friend Anitra Johnson, he testified.

Though he reconciled with Mack Norton, his romance with Johnson continued, he said. Norton had three children with his wife and a daughter with Johnson.

His drinking, and both his and Mack Norton’s alleged infidelities, were a frequent source of friction, he said.

Three years before Mack Norton’s death, Norton was arrested for domestic violence after allegedly beating Mack Norton and threatening to cut off her hair. Those charges were later dropped after prosecutors said Mack Norton and Johnson concocted a story that a fight between the two women produced the injuries.

On Wednesday, Norton testified that he witnessed the fight and that Mack Norton had him falsely arrested to prevent her family from finding out about his affair.

"I never touched Tamika. I never slapped her, scratched her, punched her. I never did anything like that," Norton said. "If she got in my face, I laughed at her and left the house."

Johnson, who told San Mateo Superior Court Judge Craig Parsons on Tuesday that she would testify for the defense, changed her mind Wednesday morning and invoked her Fifth Amendment right.

Outside of court, Johnson said she reconsidered the advice of her lawyer and feared being prosecuted again in the case.

Johnson was originally charged with aiding and abetting Norton during his month on the lam following the killing, but those charges were later dropped.

tbarak@examiner.com

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