01/28/2009 1:00AM

Cole Norman released from prison


Cole Norman, a prominent Southwest trainer who last April was sentenced to six years in an Arkansas state prison for negligent homicide, was released from prison at 10:14 a.m. Central on Wednesday, said Dina Tyler, a spokesperson for the Arkansas Department of Corrections. He is scheduled to be under parole supervision through Sept. 3, 2011.

Norman was eligible to be released on Jan. 22 after having his parole approved during a hearing, but additional paperwork in his case was required because he is a resident of Louisiana and will be under the supervision of a parole officer in that state. Tyler said Norman was released from the Wrightsville unit, which is just south of Little Rock, Ark.

Norman, 40, was involved in a traffic accident in Hot Springs, Ark., on Feb. 5, 2007 that left Virginia Heath, an 86-year-old woman, dead. He was found to have painkillers, for which he had prescriptions, in his system. Norman, who had broken his neck in a all-terrain vehicle accident in December 2005, pled guilty to negligent homicide at his trial in Hot Springs, Ark., last April.

He was taken into custody on April 9, 2008. Norman was not expected to be eligible for parole until April of this year, but he was given 90 days credit for voluntarily entering and completing a substance abuse program in prison, Norman's attorney, Jamie Pratt, said earlier this month. Pratt also indicated that Norman hopes to eventually resume his training career. Norman has won six titles at Oaklawn Park and nine at Louisiana Downs. He has not started a horse since Feb. 11, 2007.