Career criminal pleads guilty to double murder in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A convicted felon has pleaded guilty to two murders in St. Petersburg.

Michael Scott Norris, 36, was an inmate on work release when he shot and killed two men as they worked on a home in October, 2012.

On Monday, Norris took a plea deal which eliminated the death penalty.  A judge immediately sentenced him to two consecutive life sentences.

Investigators said this was a random crime of opportunity.

Norris shot and killed Bruce Johnson, 51, and Arthur Regula, 36, inside a home in the 2600 block of 4th Avenue North.   Norris then set the house on fire and took off in Regula's F-150 truck.  It was later found burned and abandoned in Tampa.

Norris had spent nine or ten months at the Largo Residential Re-Entry Center in Clearwater and was on a work-release program when the murders happened.

Chief Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett  told ABC Action news, Norris still faces unrelated criminal charges in Hillsborough and Sarasota Counties.

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