Brittany Norwood receives life, no parole, for
killing Jayna Murray in Lululemon yoga store
By Paul Duggan - WashingtonPost.com
January 27, 2012
A Montgomery County judge, his voice rising in
anger at times, sentenced Brittany Norwood to life in prison
without the chance of parole Friday for the savage killing of
co-worker Jayna Murray in a Bethesda yoga store last year.
In the climax to a sensational murder case that
rocked Bethesda’s tony downtown retail district, Circuit Court
Judge Robert Greenberg locked eyes on the diminutive, 29-year-old
defendant seated before him in a black pantsuit.
“Cold-blooded . . . brutal . . . calculated
. . . deliberate . . . devious . . . malicious,” was how the judge
described Norwood and the murder she committed in the Lululemon
Athletica store. The sentence brought a burst of applause from a
courtroom packed with more than 200 people, including relatives of
Norwood and Murray.
“Please!” the judge scolded, silencing the
Norwood, speaking publicly for the first time
since the killing, briefly addressed Murray’s family before
learning her punishment. “Before I go to prison,” she said, “I
needed you to hear how deeply sorry I am."
In an after-hours confrontation apparently
sparked by Norwood’s attempt to steal a pair of yoga pants,
authorities said, she bludgeoned, choked and stabbed Murray, using
at least five weapons to inflict more than 330 separate wounds.
Then she gave herself a few minor wounds, bound her own hands and
ankles in a restroom, and initially fooled detectives with an
elaborate tale about a pair of masked intruders.
Until the coverup unraveled a few days later,
police considered Norwood a victim of two killers on the loose,
and fear reigned on the upscale streets of Bethesda Row.
“You’re one hell of a liar, ma’am,” Greenberg
said Friday, in a tone of contempt.
Norwood and her attorneys had sought of
sentence of life with a chance of parole. “I don’t even ask this
for myself,” Norwood said as she dabbed tears with a tissue. “I
truly ask this for my family, especially my mom and dad.” But the
judge was unmoved.
“I have no doubt, Ms. Norwood, that you are a
deeply troubled woman,” Greenburg told her. However, “my sympathy
for your plight, ma’am, does not begin — does not begin — to
approach what I feel for the Murray family.”
With or without parole, he said: “You will
live. You will see another sunrise, another sunset. It may be
through a prison window. There’ll be Christmases, there’ll be
telephone calls, there’ll be visits. The only visits Jayna Murray
will have are those to her grave."
In arguing that the prolonged brutality of the
killing and the seemingly remorseless coverup attempt made life
without parole a fitting punishment for Norwood, State’s Attorney
John McCarthy summoned eight of Murray’s relatives and friends to
a lectern, where each sadly addressed the judge.
Murray, 30, a graduate student at Johns Hopkins
University, was bright, loving, compassionate, intelligent,
adventurous and devoted to her family, they said.
“Of the many stages of grief, I have not moved
away from rage,” her father, David Murray, told Greenberg. He
recalled leading soldiers in combat as an Army officer and seeing
changes in their psyches as they grew accustomed to fighting.
“Once bloodied, the second time is easier and probably more
likely,” he said of killing. And that would be true of Norwood, he
said, if she were someday let out of prison.
Phyllis Murray said her daughter’s death was “a
pain that ripped through our bodies. The grief is like a lightning
strike. It is so powerful. It is so intense.” She said, “This
individual must be removed from society forever.”
As Norwood sat silent and almost motionless at
the defendant’s table, her eyes cast downward, one of Murray’s two
older brothers, an Army captain in dress uniform, strode to the
lectern. “Your honor, I’m Hugh Murray, and I am a victim of murder
— my sister Jayna’s murder.” Then, in a halting voice, he read his
“Nothing will ever return to normal,” he said.
“Nothing will ever be the same.”
Hugh Murray’s wife, Kate, told Greenberg: “When
we do sleep, we as often as not have nightmares about Jayna’s
murder.” Of the Murray family, once vibrant and resolutely upbeat,
she said: “There is no hope. There is no joy. There is no true
Then Murray’s other brother, Dirk Murray,
invoked the three Furies of Greek mythology, Dante’s nine circles
of hell, and the Old Testament story of Cain and Abel, telling the
judge, “I’ve explored all to see what kind of hell awaits Ms.
His wife, April, came next, then Jayna Murray’s
longtime boyfriend, Fraser Bocell. “No longer can I look forward
to our children, praying they have Jayna’s smile and her
indomitable spirit,” Bocell said. One of Murray’s closest friends,
Marisa Connaughton, told the judge, “A dark cloud has been cast
over my heart."
At Norwood’s trial late last year, there was no
dispute over whether she had killed Murray. Defense attorneys
sought a verdict of second-degree murder, arguing that the crime
was committed in the heat of passion and without premeditation.
McCarthy, who prosecuted the case, contended that the killing was
intentional and deliberate, and the jury agreed, convicting
Norwood of first-degree murder. She was star soccer player in high
school and college and had no criminal record before the killing.
On Friday, Norwood showed emotion only after
the Murray family was done speaking. She softly cried as one of
her brothers, Sandre Norwood, stood at the lectern. “There’s
another side to Brittany that was not brought out at the trial,”
“Please, your honor: At least give her some
hope,” he said, asking for parole eligibility. “If you leave her
with hope, you in turn leave our family with hope."
The sentencing brought to a close one of the
most bizarre and high-profile murder cases in Montgomery in years.
To try to conceal her crime, Norwood tracked
size-14 sneakers through Murray’s blood to make it appear as if a
large man had been there. Then she tied herself up and waited
overnight. She was found the next morning, moaning in the
restroom. For days, she lied to the police and to her family,
weaving the story of the ski-masked attackers. But her account
crumbled under the weight of mounting forensic evidence.
Greenberg, who has worked in the Montgomery
justice system for decades, said he could recall only two cases
“that approach the brutality of this case.”
The savagery of the killing, he said, is
“nothing short of astounding to me.”
Staff writer Dana Hedgpeth contributed to this
'I've never seen such a
savage killing': Judge sentences woman, 29, to life for stabbing
Yoga store colleague 331 times with six different weapons
By Ellen Connolly -
January 28, 2012
A woman who savagely killed her co-worker in a
Lululemon yoga clothing shop, then tried to pretend masked
intruders had done it, will spend the rest of her life in jail.
Convicted killer Brittany Norwood, 29, used at
least half a dozen weapons from inside the store to kill Jayna
Murray, 30, in a 'prolonged and brutal attack' on March 11.
These included a hammer, wrench, knife and peg
used to hold up a mannequin.
In sentencing Norwood for life in prison
without the possibility of parole, the judge said in all his years
on the bench, he had never seen such a savage attack.
He rejected defense pleas that she deserved an
eventual shot at rehabilitation and freedom.
'You will live,' said Montgomery Circuit Judge
Robert Greenberg.'There’ll be Christmases, there’ll be telephone
calls, there’ll be visits. The only visits Jayna Murray will have
are those to her grave,' Judge
Earlier, Norwood had pleaded for mercy.
'I don’t even ask this for myself,' Norwood
said. 'I truly ask this for my family, especially my mom and dad.'
Norwood said she struggled with what to say to
the family of Jayna Murray, the woman she beat and stabbed in the
Lululemon Athletica store before staging the crime scene to make
it appear masked intruders were the culprits.
She said she could not find the right words
'when your daughter is gone and I’m the one who was convicted of
'Before I go to prison I just want to say just
how deeply sorry I am,' Norwood said.
Norwood’s steadfast lies — 'coupled with her
lack of remorse' — speak to the 'tremendous danger' Norwood would
pose if released, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy
said in a sentencing memo.
Friday’s sentencing hearing brought to a close
one of the most bizarre and high-profile murder cases in
Montgomery County in years. Norwood, 29, lied to police and her
family, saying masked men attacked her and Murray, 30, in the
She staged a coverup, tracking size 14 sneakers
through Murray’s blood to make it appear that a large man had been
there, then she tied herself up in the store overnight.
A jury in November convicted Norwood of
first-degree murder for bludgeoning and stabbing 30-year-old Jayna
Murray, a co-worker at the Lululemon Athletica shop in Bethesda.
Prosecutors said Norwood brutally attacked
Murray with at least five weapons, including a knife and a hammer,
during a fight on March 11 after they closed the shop for the day.
They said Norwood then doctored the scene to
support her story that intruders had attacked and sexually
Murray was found the next morning in a pool of
blood at the back of the store, with more than 330 distinct
wounds. Norwood was found nearby, tied up, with superficial wounds
on her hands and face. Her pants were slit at the crotch.
Norwood's allegations set off panic. Montgomery
County police went on a manhunt and fielded hundreds of tips. The
store is nestled along a corridor of high-end shops and trendy
restaurants in Bethesda, an affluent suburb where violent crime is
rare. Some residents and shoppers admitted to feeling anxious at
night after Norwood's account of the attack became public.
But the tale unraveled within days as police
identified her as their sole suspect. Workers at an adjacent Apple
store told police they had heard two women arguing. Investigators
found only two sets of footprints in the store. Norwood alleged
she was sexually assaulted, but an examination did not back up the
claim. And Norwood's DNA was found inside Murray's car. Police
arrested Norwood six days after Murray's body was found.
Norwood's lawyers conceded at the outset of the
trial that Norwood had killed Murray, but said she had simply
'lost it' in a moment of irrationality and didn't have the
required forethought to be convicted of first-degree murder. A
jury rejected that argument after about an hour of deliberation,
finding her guilty of first-degree murder.
The jury did not hear a motive for the killing,
but investigators previously said the women fought after Murray
found what she thought was stolen merchandise in Norwood's bag.
Lululemon victim was alive through most of
By Andrea Noble - The Washington Times
October 26, 2011
Jayna Murray was alive when she suffered most
of the 322 cuts and blows inflicted on her head and body during a
brutal attack at the Bethesda Lululemon Athletica store in March,
prosecutors said Wednesday.
Opening arguments in the first-degree murder
trial of Brittany Norwood, charged in the horrific killing of her
co-worker, provided the most dramatic account yet of a crime that
shocked the region for its viciousness and for the twists and
turns of an investigation that ultimately revealed a morbidly
staged crime scene. They also offered the first indications of how
attorneys for the 29-year-old woman accused in the killing plan to
Holding the bloody rope found around the slain
woman’s neck and a merchandise display rod used to bash her skull,
State’s Attorney John McCarthy said a blood trail shows how the
30-year-old victim tried unsuccessfully to escape her attacker
through a back door. The 107 defensive wounds, caused when Murray
tried to fend off the attack, were the most the medical examiner
had ever seen on one person, Mr. McCarthy said.
“Think about how long this took. Jayna is alive
through almost all of this,” Mr. McCarthy said, describing how
eight separate items found in the upscale yoga-inspired apparel
store were used as weapons. “The last wounds are from the knives.
This was not slow. This was not painless. This woman struggled to
While attorneys for Miss Norwood hinted in the
months before the trial that they might pursue an insanity
defense, attorney Douglas Wood acknowledged in his opening
statement that his client had attacked Murray — but that she had
not planned to kill her.
“Jayna was killed by Brittany, but not with
premeditation,” Mr. Wood said. “During that fight, Brittany
Norwood lost it — there is no doubt about that. She lost control.”
The distinction aims to undercut the argument
of prosecutors, who must prove that the attack was premeditated to
win a first-degree murder conviction instead of a lesser
second-degree murder conviction. Prosecutors have said they will
seek life without parole if Miss Norwood is convicted of
Mr. McCarthy said that on March 11, the night
of the killing, the women closed the store together but that Miss
Norwood lured Murray back and the deadly attack ensued inside the
store. He said an employee at a neighboring Apple Store overheard
two women yelling, and one screaming, “Oh God, please help me.”
Prosecutors have suggested the motive for the
killing could have come earlier in the day, when Murray found what
she thought to be stolen merchandise in Miss Norwood’s bag.
The next morning, when an employee opened the
store, Miss Norwood was found bound and bloodied in a bathroom,
and Murray dead, lying in a pool of blood in a back room. Miss
Norwood appeared “traumatized,” had a slit cut in the crotch of
her pants and never opened her eyes or spoke with the first
officers to arrive on the scene, Montgomery County Police Officer
Christin Knuth testified.
“I squatted down beside her and touched her arm
and she flinched,” Officer Knuth said.
Miss Norwood initially told police that she and
Murray were attacked by two men who entered the store after
In his opening statement, Mr. McCarthy
dissected the story that Miss Norwood has admitted contriving in
order to cover her tracks. She initially said the attackers
sexually assaulted her by using a wooden clothes hanger. Mr.
McCarthy contrasted the claim with what investigators later
learned - that using men’s shoes from the store she created
footprints in Murray’s blood, and she moved Murray’s car from
where it was double parked outside the store to give her 10 hours
to doctor the crime scene.
“Ask yourself, what do the succession of lies
tell you about the cunning and guile of this woman?” Mr. McCarthy
said to the jurors.
Mr. Wood said Miss Norwood’s actions were those
of a woman who found herself in a frightening position.
“They show someone who got involved in a
nightmarish situation and had this imagination and explanation of
what happened,” Mr. Wood said. “This is not first-degree,
premeditated, willful murder.”
Miss Norwood was arrested a week after the
crime, after investigators uncovered inconsistencies in her story.
The families of both women were present in the
Rockville courtroom, sitting in rows across the aisle from each
other. Murray’s family wore buttons with a picture of her, but
they were ordered to remove the buttons by Montgomery County
Circuit Court Judge Robert A. Greenberg.
Miss Norwood, who wore a gray sweater over a
white shirt with a ruffled collar, sat passively through the day’s
proceedings. She kept her gaze either straight ahead or down at
the table before her, even as an image of Murray’s gash-covered
head was flashed before the court on a projector, eliciting
audible gasps from the dozens of people in the courtroom.
In addition to the first officer to arrive at
Lululemon, the jury of six men and six women also heard testimony
from the store’s manager and a passer-by who entered the store
with the frightened manager the morning of March 12 and found
Store manager Rachel Oertli explained the
layout of the store and testified that the items used as weapons
against Murray could generally be found in the back portion of the
store, though not all in the narrow hallway where Murray’s body
Prosecutor: Brittany Norwood Stole
Merchandise Before Killing Jayna Murray
By Andrea Canning and Jessica Hopper -
March 21, 2011
Brittany Norwood, the Maryland woman accused of
murdering her co-worker in a yoga shop and then staging a fake
crime, was in possession of stolen merchandise at the time of the
killing, state prosecutors said.
A confrontation between Norwood and 30-year-old
Jayna Murray over the stolen merchandise may have led to Murray's
death, State Attorney John McCarthy said.
Appearing in a Montgomery County courtroom via
video conference, Norwood was ordered to be held without bond.
During the court hearing, new details emerged
about the alleged attack. Prosecutors claim the struggle between
Norwood and Murray at the Lululemon Athletic shop in Bethesda,
Md., may have lasted more than 20 minutes, ABC Affiliate WJLA
The blows to Murray's head were too numerous to
count. Her skull was fractured and spinal cord severed by a wound
that extended through her neck, WJLA reported.
Norwood was arrested Friday and charged with
first-degree murder in the death of Murray, her co-worker at the
Lululemon Athletica shop.
"The main message that I would send is that we
believe very, very strongly in the U.S. justice system and we are
going to let the justice system prevail," David Murray, Jayna
Murray's father, said.
The parents of Murray said their daughter never
mentioned the woman now accused of killing her, Brittany Norwood.
"There were always people that she would have
dinner with and go to movies with, but Brittany's name was never
mentioned," Phyllis Murray, Jayna Murray's mother, said.
Police discovered the crime scene March 12 at
store in Bethesda. Murray was dead and Norwood was bound with her
hands tied above her head.
When Murray's brother found out that his sister
was dead, he was in Iraq working as an Army attorney.
"I had been told that my sister had been
murdered," Hugh Murray said. "It was devastating, it broke me."
Fear spread through the D.C. suburb that a
killer was on the loose.
"It's the rumors that kill and it just burns
you inside," Phyllis Murray said.
Police say Norwood told them that after closing
up the store for the night on March 11, she and Murray, a fellow
employee, returned to pick up the wallet she had forgotten at
work. Two masked men followed them in, bound them, sexually
assaulted them and when Murray resisted, they beat and stabbed her
to death, police say Norwood told them.
But Norwood's story apparently didn't add up.
"Almost none of it matched up," former FBI
agent Brad Garrett said as he surveyed the scene at Lululemon,
where the windows were full of flowers, notes and pictures of
Jayna Murray, who police say was murdered in the store.
Medical examiners found no evidence of sexual
assault on either victim. Only two sets of footprints were found
-- Norwood's, and one from a pair of shoes found at the scene,
which police theorized Norwood used to plant false footprints.
"We were able to determine that there were only
two sets of footprints at the crime scene, one belonging to Ms.
Norwood another belonging to a size 14 shoe that was recovered in
the store," Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger said.
Police: Evidence, Reports Did Not Support
When Norwood was found by a store employee
opening up the next morning, police say the position she was tied
in, with her hands bound above her head, was suspicious to police,
suggesting she might have fastened the bonds herself.
Murray's car had also been moved, and was
spattered with the blood of Norwood, who police say told them her
assailants ordered her to re-park the car, which had been outside
the store, and return in 10 minutes or be killed.
"As we began analyzing the physical evidence
and looked at the medical reports, it was not supporting what Ms.
Norwood had told us," Manger said.
Then workers at the Apple Computer store next
door told police that on the night of the killing, they heard two
A college teammate of Norwood shed some light
on her past.
"Other girls on the team told me things like,
'Watch your locker, keep it locked.' She's been known to steal
things," Megan Healy said.
The family of Jayna Murray is healing through
launching a foundation to remember the adventure-seeking young
woman who loved to go bungee jumping.
"One of the most fearless people I've ever
known in my life and that's as objective as a father can get. I
really admired her for everything she did and everything she
represented," David Murray said.
The family has created the Jayna Troxel Murray
Foundation to remember Murray's life.
"People have always commented that it was her
smile and it was her hugs. Whether she knew you for two seconds or
years, those were her greetings. She wanted people tot feel
comfortable and happy," Phyllis Murray said.
slaying arrest announced; Brittany Norwood being charged with
By Dan Morse and
Maria Glod - WashingtonPost.com
March 19, 2011
The woman portrayed as the brave survivor of a
brutal attack at a Bethesda yoga store has now been charged with
killing her co-worker.
The victim-turned-suspect was found inside the
Lululemon Athletica store bound and bruised, and she convinced
detectives that two men in ski masks and gloves raped and beat her
and her fellow employee.
But it was all a lie, police now say.
Brittany Norwood, 27, was charged late Friday
with murder in the March 11 death of Jayna T. Murray, 30, who was
beaten and stabbed.
Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger
said that there is no evidence there were any sexual assaults at
all and that Norwood very likely inflicted her own injuries and
tied herself up.
Norwood’s tale, which captivated the region and
had shoppers and merchants along Bethesda Row in fear, began to
unravel as detectives looked at the evidence.
“When the investigation began, detectives had
only the story of Ms. Norwood to go by,” Manger said. But “the
forensic evidence and the physical evidence was not supporting
what Ms. Norwood had told us.”
The suspect’s story terrified residents and
merchants in downtown Bethesda, an area of restaurants and
high-end stores that has long been considered one of the safest
spots in the region. Stores moved to install security cameras.
Private security guards escorted workers to their cars. Average
citizens began asking clothing stores if they’d sold ski masks to
anyone suspicious. A reward of more than $150,000 was lined up to
catch the intruders.
But in the end, Norwood, who went to high
school in Washington state and college in Long Island, N.Y.,
couldn’t keep her story going, police said.
Assistant Chief Drew Tracy said there were some
inconsistencies from the beginning, but detectives chalked them up
in part to a stressed victim.
One of the unanswered questions, Tracy said,
involved Norwood’s wounds. The wounds were superficial, compared
with Murray’s. Investigators wondered why she didn’t leave the
store before another employee opened it the next morning.
A big break in the case was provided by
evidence found in Murray’s car, Manger said. Norwood had gotten
into Murray’s car, which had been parked in front of the store,
and drove it to a parking lot a few blocks away off Wisconsin
Avenue, the chief said. He declined to specify what was found in
Manger also said detectives found only two sets
of bloody shoe prints in the Lululemon store. One set belonged to
Norwood, he said, and the other came from shoes that belonged to
the store and were found at the crime scene. So that cast doubt on
the story about intruders, police said.
In addition, employees of an Apple store next
door said they heard two women arguing the night of the killing,
Tracy and Manger both said that detectives had
little choice but to believe Norwood’s story at first.
“Victims of sexual assault, you have to take
their story as truthful,” the chief said.
When police began their probe, Manger said,
detectives aggressively investigated Norwood’s story. They
examined surveillance cameras from the area, searching for signs
of the mysterious attackers. Tips came in, and officers even
followed a man they thought might be a “person of interest,”
“Four days ago I really believed this was a
random crime of opportunity,” Manger said. “It’s a tragic case.”
At first, Norwood appeared to be a victim,
along with Murray.
About 8 a.m. last Saturday, a worker at
Lululemon arrived for work and heard a noise in the back of the
store. She retreated and asked a man outside to go in. He found a
horrific, bloody crime scene, according to officials.
Norwood was tied up. She was taken to a local
hospital, where detectives spoke to her. Police officials began
describing the case to reporters, based largely on her statements.
By Monday, officials had established a timeline
of what they believed had happened:
At 9:45 p.m., after closing the store, Norwood
and Murray left. But Norwood called Murray to say she had left her
wallet in the store and asked if Murray could meet her there,
police said. They went inside, closely followed into the store by
two masked men, who attacked them.
By Tuesday, what appeared to be a promising
lead that tracked the suspect’s original story had dried up,
according to a police source. At the same time, analysis of
forensic evidence was starting to come in.
For Bethesda Row merchants, the arrest was a
“Everybody feels like they can breathe,” said
Golnaz Fiez, general manager of Assaggi Restaurant Mozzarella Bar
on Bethesda Avenue, a few doors down from the yoga store.
The restaurant’s business was down 50 percent
this week, said Giovanni Medrano, a manager at the restaurant.
Foot traffic along the road has been light and many businesses
have closed early because employees were nervous, he said.
“It brings closure to the case,” Medrano said.
“People have been very, very apprehensive. Very, very nervous.”
Staff writers Dana Hedgpeth, Ed O’Keefe and
Clarence Williams and researchers Jennifer Jenkins and Julie Tate
contributed to this report.
Brittany Norwood arrested in Lululemon
March 18, 2011
A whodunit that has captivated the Washington
region took a twisted turn Friday afternoon when police arrested
Brittany Norwood for the murder of her co-worker, Lululemon
Athletica employee Jayna Murray.
When another employee arrived at
the store last Saturday, March 12, she found Murray dead at the
back of the store. Norwood was also on the floor, tied up.
Norwood said she and Murray, 30, had been
attacked by two masked men wearing gloves. She said the men had
sexually attacked both women, tied up Norwood, 28, and killed
But Montgomery County Police say forensic
evidence and inconsistencies in Norwood's story led them to
conclude that she was the attacker—not one of the victims.
According to a police affidavit, officers had
doubts from the beginning about the stories Norwood told them as
she described the attack
While Norwood told police she had been sexually
assaulted and she had cuts on her body, there was no indication
that she had been raped and her wounds were superficial and had
all the characteristics of self inflicted injuries.
When police found Norwood Saturday morning on
the floor at the store, her hands were tied above her head and her
feet were bound. But they believed that she had posed herself in
Murray's car was found approximately three
blocks away in a public parking lot on March 15. When it was
examined, blood was found in various areas.
On March 16, Norwood was interviewed again and
asked if she had ever been in Murray’s vehicle. Norwood said she
had only seen the car in passing and she gave several different
accounts of events. But the stories didn’t fit with the physical
evidence, police say.
On March 18, at police headquarters, Norwood
offered what police called an “unbelievable account.” She said
that before she was sexually assaulted, the masked men made her
take Murray's keys and move the car while they stayed in the
While she was outside the store, Norwood said
she saw a police officer and two other people on the street. But
she didn’t ask for assistance and returned to the store through
the unlocked door.
Police say Norwood couldn’t explain the
inconsistencies in her interviews.
In a 7 p.m. press conference on Friday,
Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger reported that they
had charged Norwood with the slaying.
He said the two women had a dispute prior to
the incident but didn’t go into detail about it. Witness
interviews revealed that in a neighboring stores employees heard
two women screaming at each other at about 10:30 p.m. that night.
Manger said that there was also no evidence
that either woman was sexually assaulted.
Manger described the case as having many twists
and turns. The police at one point had several promising leads.
However, statements from Norwood and the forensic evidence didn't
match up. "We went where the evidence led,” he said.
Police recovered two sets of bloody footprints
inside the store. One set belonged to Norwood. The other set was
made by a pair of shoes that were used by the store to measure
The scene and the store shoes showed evidence
that someone had tried to clean up, a fact that was clearly
Police suspect Norwood caused her own wounds
after killing Murray, who died from blunt force trauma and stab
Norwood is from Washington State, but has ties
to Virginia and New York. After graduating from high school she
attended Stony Brook University in New York and was named the
Defensive Most Valuable Player on the school soccer team in 2003.
Records show that Norwood has lived in several
places in Virginia and moved to a Columbia Heights apartment in
the District. According to D.C. Superior Court records, she and
her roommate, Erin McManimon, were sued by their landlord over
failure to pay rent in 2008. Public records indicate that she left
the building in June of that year.
The slaying took place along a dense commercial
strip in downtown Bethesda, a circumstance that gave police some
optimism that surveillance footage from nearby businesses might
yield some leads in the case.
After examining such footage, however, police
indicated that there was nothing helpful in the tapes.
The slaying and attack sent shockwaves through
the Bethesda community.
A reward exceeding $150,000 has been offered
for information about the slaying. Business groups, as well as the
police, planned a security meeting within the week to discuss the
Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett praised
police and reassured residents that the region is safe.
“Anywhere in the region we take crime
seriously,” he said. “I am delighted that we were able to move so
Murray was well known and liked in the busy
neighborhood of boutiques and restaurants. People continue to
offer prayers and gifts in front of the still-closed store.
County Council Member Roger Berliner says when
"when police made the arrest, people started breathing again."
"It is a gruesome tragedy," he says.
Norwood is due to appear at a Monday court
hearing where she is expected to be charged with first degree
Visitation services took place Friday in The
Woodlands, Tex. The memorial service was set for Saturday in
A memorial guestbook has also been created for