A Hinds County jury convicted Stanley Cole of murder in February 2010. Cole, now 28, acknowledged killing the 20-year-old woman, but maintains it was an accident. He said the two were fighting in the car when Norman hit her head and he couldn't resuscitate her.
The Clarion-Ledger reports (http://on.thec-l.com/I3LfV3) that oral arguments are scheduled for May 16 in Cole's appeal.
Cole's attorney will argue that the jury should have been allowed to consider a manslaughter verdict. Then-Hinds County Circuit Judge Swan Yerger denied such a request from the defense. Instead of life in prison, Cole would then have faced a maximum 20 years.
The case drew widespread attention for two weeks in November 2007 while police searched for the missing student.
Norman went missing after a class on Nov. 13, 2007. Her body was found Nov. 29, 2007, in a wooded area of north Jackson near Tougaloo College.
About a month before her disappearance, Norman filed an assault charge and accused Cole of hitting her in the face in a Pearl restaurant's parking lot.
Cole's attorney, then-Assistant Public Defender Matt Eichelberger, argued during Cole's trial that Norman and Cole's relationship had been rife with violent episodes. He said Cole loved Norman and would not have intentionally killed her. "What happened wasn't murder," he told the jury.
Now Eichelberger will argue that same thing before the Court of Appeals. He will also argue that Cole's trial should have been moved out of Hinds County because of pre-trial publicity. He said there are other issues as well.
"I'm very much looking forward to presenting Mr. Cole's case to our Court of Appeals," Eichelberger said. "I've got a lot to say."
Since her death, a counseling center at JSU has been named after Norman. Also, her case was cited in the passage of two new laws to widen the protections provided for domestic violence victims and increase funding for efforts to fight domestic abuse.