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Monday, August 15, 2022

The Brittany Norwood Murder Case

     In some cases, when it comes to predicting who is capable of committing murder, you can't tell the book by its cover. This is particularly true in a murder committed in 2011 by a 29-year-old woman named Brittany Norwood.

     Norwood played high school soccer in Kent, her hometown outside of Seattle, Washington. She continued her career as an athlete at Stony Brook University on Long Island. At Stony Brook, her soccer teammates accused the 5 foot, 120 pound player of stealing cash from them. A member of the team reported the thefts to the coach who chose to ignore the allegations.

     In 2011, Brittany Norwood worked as a sales clerk at a downtown Bethesda, Maryland store called Lululemon Athletica where upper-middle class customers bought $98 yoga pants and $58 running shirts. Jayna Murray, a 30-year-old graduate student at John Hopkins University worked in the store with Norwood. Although the two young women were not close friends, they worked well as a sales clerk team.

     At 9 P.M., March 11, 2011, the two Lululemon clerks closed the doors to the public and began shutting down the shop for the night. Forty-five minutes later, pursuant to one of the retail chain's anti-employee theft measures, Jayna and Brittany checked each other's handbags for un-purchased store merchandise. This led to Jayna's discovery of a pair of yoga pants in Brittany's purse. As they walked out the door Jayna told her fellow employee that she would have to report the attempted theft to the store manager.

     On her walk to the Metro station, Brittany, as a ruse to get Jayna back into the store where she could talk her out of reporting the incident, phoned Jayna to tell her that she had left her wallet in the shop. Since Jayna possessed the key to the store, the two clerks headed back to Lululemon.

     As soon as Brittany and Jayna re-entered the store at 10:05, Brittany Norwood made her pitch. But it was to no avail, Jayna had already called the store manager. There was nothing she could do. This infuriated Norwood and led to a shouting match overheard by employees of a nearby Apple store. The screaming and shouting turned violent when Norwood picked up a heavy metal rod used to support a mannequin and bludgeoned Jayna in the back of the head, crushing her skull. As Jayna staggered toward the store's rear exit, Norwood beat her with a hammer then picked up a knife and repeatedly stabbed her.

     Norwood's assault lasted six minutes and produced 332 wounds on the dying victim that included a severed spinal cord and 83 defensive injuries.

     In an effort to make the murder look like a violent store invasion, Brittany Norwood tossed mops, brooms and chairs around the shop, used a pair size 12 Reebok sneakers to track bloody shoe prints about the crime scene, and inflicted minor injuries on herself. She then bound her own hands and feet with pieces of rope and waited overnight on the restroom floor. The next morning the store manager found Jayna Murray dead in the back hallway and Brittany Norwood in the bathroom tied up and moaning.

     On the morning after the murder, from her hospital bed, Norwood told detectives that two intruders in ski-masks had attacked her and killed Jayna. According to Norwood, one of the attackers, a white man making racial slurs (Norwood was black), threatened to cut her throat if she resisted. "It was my fault because I left my wallet," she said.

     From the beginning detectives had problems fitting the crime scene evidence to Norwood's story. Six days after the crime, the prosecutor charged Brittany Norwood with first-degree murder. Under Maryland law, first-degree, premeditated murder carried a sentence of life without parole. Second-degree murder, on the other hand, involved a sentence of 30 years maximum with a chance of parole after 15 years. Although the defendant didn't make a full confession, she did not maintain her innocence. Her attorney's defense consisted of the argument that the killing was spontaneous, making it second-degree murder.

     Norwood's trial, held in the Montgomery County court, got underway in November 2011 and lasted six days. The defense attorney didn't put on a single witness, relying instead on his closing statement to the jury. His client was not, he told jurors, "in a right state of mind" when she attacked the victim. The murder, he said, "was the product of an explosion."

     The jury didn't buy the defense theory of the case, and after deliberating less than an hour, returned with their verdict: they found Norwood guilty of  first-degree murder. This meant the sobbing defendant would spend the rest of her life behind bars with no hope of parole.  

26 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. One question..if the employees from the Apple store heard all the screaming, WHY did they not call the police right away!!!

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  3. I only have one question..If the employees in the Apple store heard the screaming coming from the Lululemon store...WHY did they not call the police right away. Brittany Norwood had too many hours to set up a fake assault from two attackers!!!

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  4. Exactly!! I live in Maryland but in Baltimore and I was rocked by this tragic murder. I always wondered why those from the Apple store felt like It was no their business. Put yourself in that situation dumbass, you would want someone to help you out by calling the police. They (people in Apple) didnt call the police AT ALL!!! I bet that haunts them everyday. Now she can spend the rest of her life thinking was a pair of yoga pants really worth it.

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    1. I was friends with a best friend of one of the Apple store employees. The answer is as regards at least one of them, that she doesn't care and believes she did nothing wrong. Her facebook photos (available on line) indicate she is fascinated with vampires and the dead, but whether that played a role I don't know.

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  5. Your recanted story is about 75% correct. Some of the facts you stated arent accurate. Example the attack last more than 6minutes , thats what made everyone realize she was a nut job to have tortured this girl for so long. The shoes were size 14. Brittany also used items within the store to simulate a sexual assult on the victim. She is right where she needs to be. She killed because she got caught stealing. I hope she enjoys looking at those 4 walls.

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    1. YES she is. How could she do that? Just because someone caught you stealing. She doesn't need to get out.

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  6. You should probably get your facts straight before you post an article online, I mean come on dude

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  7. The murderer never sobbed or showed any emotion at trial or sentencing.

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  8. One thing, though: of course Brittany Norwood is a brutal murderer. But this murder just doesn't seem premeditated based on the account given here, it seems that the motive for MURDER arose AFTER Norwood found out that Jayna Murray had already reporter her for stealing. It certainly doesn't sound like Norwood lured Murray back to the store in order to KILL her; it sounds like she lured Murray to the store to try to talk her out of reporting the theft (but it was too late). Unless, of course, Norward had secretly gotten her weapons organized before they closed the store that night. If that's not the case, then it seems that the "premeditated" verdict is wrong. Whether that should affect the possibility of parole, only God is capable of saying.

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  9. Norwood is a cold blooded raciest killer and she is right where she should be....locked-up like the animal she is!

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  10. To say that Norwood is an animal IS AN INSULT TO ANIMALS!

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  11. This account of the crime is completely incorrect, and I don't know why you would make up a story that is not based on the facts? Blood spatter analysis in addition to the evidence that the medical examiner uncovered showed that Brittany Norwood surprised Jayna with a blow to the back of the head, and then attacked her for at least 20 minutes, hitting and stabbing her more than 300 times with a hammer, screwdriver and more. Brittany lured Jayna back to the store with the intention of killing her. She did not ask her to come back to the store to ask her to not report the theft, and then they got in an argument and that led to that attack. That account is simply wrong. Brittany asked Jayna to come back and lied and said the reason was because she forgot her wallet, then she surprised Jayna with a blow to the back of her head when they went in the back office to look for Brittany's wallet. The screams and pleasing that the apple employees heard all happened during the attack, with Jayna yelling "why are you doing this? Please talk to me. Please don't do this."
    Don't be so dumb to post made up lies online about a very serious case of a brutal murder.

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    1. did Brittany abmit to asking her back to kill her? If not then you can't say it was premeditated.I don't think it was however, i believe in the death penalty and regardless of the original intent, i think she deserved the death penalty even though it wasn't an option.

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    2. Premeditation can happen in a matter of seconds, without any planning.

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  12. hideous crime I saw on deadly women American don't learn by other people mistake still murdering going on daily she paying the price she should of settled for the sack then do this murder know never be freed getting sacked better than murder or jail

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  13. Every interaction between a black and white person isn't always racial, most of the time it's not. Just people interacting.

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    1. How do you know? Tell BLM to shut up then.

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  14. She wasnt racist. She was a clepto. It facinates me that this young, attractive,educated,athletic,well spoken, upper middleclass upbrought girl took it to that level just because she couldnt bare being outed as a thief and losing 2 jobs. She could have bounced right back and had great life, now pure hell every min of every day its just mindboggling. R.i.p. to jayna

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    1. My husband & I said the same thing.

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    2. What do you and your husband know?

      Everything in this country is made about race. BLM, White privilege, poor sad black people being arrested unfairly by the police even though they dindu nuffin.

      Now, when facts are presented about black criminals, and everyone should know that 90% of interracial crime involves a black perpetrator and White victim, NoT eVerYthInG iS aBouT raCE yoU GuyS.

      No, it is about race. It's about anti-White hatred.

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  15. I can't help wondering if Norwoods life would've turned out differently if those earlier thefts had been addressed.
    She slaughtered Ms. Murray. Period. The attack was so savage. It made me question Norwood's sanity. There was no insanity pitch but if it had, who would've argued?
    No previous violent acts and one day she snaps because she fears being reported for theft?
    Norwood sounds like a dormant volcano that had been spewing smoke signals for some time.
    Her family didn't say much but I'm wondering if there was disturbing or at a minimum questionable behavior of hers that the family saw but overlooked?
    An obviously intelligent, attractive woman described as being nice, fun, etc but with a habit/reputation of stealing.
    Her reaction to being asked if the murder was over being accused of stealing was interesting. She came across as indignant that someone would even THINK she would be accused of stealing.
    At any rate, it's a moot point. Ms. Murray is dead and Norwood, is responsible. She deserves the harsh sentence she received. My prayers are for the Murray family as they struggle to find a way to live with their immeasurable loss.

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  16. I read about this horrific crime when it happened. Please take time to read "The Yoga Store Murder" by Dan Morse. Very accurate and gives both sides of the two people most involved. This is a great book on a most inhuman murder. My thoughts go to Jayna's family. Brittany is where she should be - and I bet she doesn't get to wear lululemon outfits there.

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  17. This horrific crime most certainly reeked of dormant racism. Unremarked upon was the fact that the thief/prostitute/sociopath Brittany Norwood told investigators that the two ''assailants'' were Caucasian.

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  18. Somewhere in heaven, you could almost hear Jayna shouting "GOOOOOAL!" after Norwood was sentenced.

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