Auburn woman pleads not guilty to murder in death of 2½-year-old daughter

BANGOR — An Auburn woman charged with murder in connection with the death of her 2½-year-old daughter pleaded not guilty during her Friday morning arraignment at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

Submitted photos

Leanna Norris, left, was the mother of 2-year-old Loh Grenda, who was found dead in her mother's car. Norris is charged with murder.

Leanna Norris, 24, who police say is formerly from Stetson, is being held without bail at the Penobscot County Jail until her harnish hearing, where a bail amount may be set or bail may be denied. She was arrested July 3 and taken into custody from a medical facility in Rockport where she had been receiving treatment, according to Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland.

State police say the girl, Loh Melody Grenda, died the evening of June 23 in Newport and her body was discovered early the next morning inside a car in Stetson.

Norris is being represented by a court-appointed attorney from Bangor, Martha J. Harris. Norris walked into Friday’s court appearance wearing a black T-shirt, jeans and shackles around her ankles.

During the arraignment, Superior Court Justice Ann Murray read the charge that Norris “did intentionally or knowingly cause the death of Loh Grenda,” and asked Norris if she understood the charge.

Norris nodded slowly, but was asked to respond audibly. She quietly said she understood and then entered her not guilty plea.

Details of what led up the the girl’s death have not been released.

No affidavit laying out the reasons for her arrest has been filed with the court because Norris was indicted by a grand jury before her arrest, court officials said.

The chief medical examiner’s office has said the manner of Loh Grenda’s death is pending, but is a homicide.

Norris was indicted June 26 by the Penobscot County grand jury but the indictment was sealed pending her arrest.

If convicted of murder, Norris faces between 25 years and life in prison.

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.



At first the story makes it

At first the story makes it sound like she was left in the car and died... but the medical examiner's claims it's a homicide. Was she choked? Beaten? Someone needs to pry certain details for these stories.


Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...