Wife accused of having too many husbands
A mother of 6 faces charges of bigamy and fraud.
By SARAH MISHKIN, JOHN MARTIN and JOSE CARDENAS, Times Staff Writers
Published July 28, 2007
TAMPA -- Kimberly Norris, 37, must seem a real catch.
Norris is married to Brandon Norris and lives in Tampa with him and five of her six children.
But authorities say that last year, in an early morning ceremony on Honeymoon Island, she married John Meister, 55, a colleague at Pizza Hut.
That, Pinellas investigators say, is bigamy, and it's illegal.
Pinellas deputies arrested her Thursday on charges of bigamy and fraud, alleging that she bilked Meister out of at least $160,000 worth of cash and property over the course of their yearlong marriage.
"I still love her. ... But I know there will never be a future for the two of us," Meister said Friday.
Public records suggest this may not be the first time Norris has added a husband before divorcing her prior one.
In 1996 she married Michael Morin.
And in 1997, Pinellas investigators say, she married Norris.
But court records indicate that she and Morin did not officially divorce until 2001.
Pinellas detectives have already been in touch with their counterparts in Delaware County, Indiana, where Morin and Norris filed for divorce, said a Pinellas Sheriff's Office spokesman, Sgt. Jim Bordner.
And when Pinellas deputies arrested Kimberly Norris on Thursday, they found her with yet another man.
He said he had been dating her for a month.
"That man was speechless when he was told what she was being arrested for," Bordner said.
After Kimberly Norris and Meister's wedding on Aug. 8, 2006, Norris stayed in Tampa with Brandon Norris and five of her children.
According to Pinellas deputies, she told Meister she did not want her children to switch schools.
In addition to his hand in marriage, Meister gave her a 2006 Pontiac G6 sports car, a 2007 Chevrolet Suburban and a 2006 Suzuki Katana motorcycle, said Bordner.
He also gave her $20,000 to $30,000 in cash and paid for breast enhancement surgery, he said.
Meister said Norris broke up with him and refused to return any of the gifts.
He consulted a lawyer, who told him to file a complaint with the Pinellas Sheriff's Office.
Meister, who lives in a quiet neighborhood in Oldsmar, sat in his living room Friday, watching himself on television news, sad that their relationship ended with Norris in jail.
"Why does anybody fall in love? We meet people. That chemistry either is there or it isn't," he said. "In our case, it was."
He said that he met Norris at a business event in the winter of 2005 and that they started dating in June 2006. According to Pinellas investigators, they filled out a marriage application on July 27, 2006. On the application, investigators say, Norris lied, claiming her last marriage had ended in divorce in 1992.
Meister said he bought her a ring that September.
"At first I thought it was way too much money," he said of the ring she picked out at a Tampa jewelry store. "But because of my feelings for her, I was trying to figure out a way to buy it."
He said he is filing for bankruptcy as a result of their relationship.
He has so far retrieved only the SUV and sports car from her.
'I wish her well'
Bordner says Brandon Norris seemed not to know about any marital excesses by his wife. No one was at their home Friday afternoon, and the silver Suzuki motorcycle remained in the carport. A child's red bicycle lay on the front lawn.
Friday evening Norris remained in jail in Pinellas County, where she was being held with bail set at $10,000.
Meister says he is sad that he and Norris could not separate amicably, that she did not return his gifts and forced him to go to the police.
"I wish her well and hope she can get through all this the way that I hope I can get through it all," Meister said. "I've taken no satisfaction in what has happened."
Sarah Mishkin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 225-3110.