On a tape played in court Thursday, Brittany Norwood said she attempted to help Jayna Murray during the course of a brutal attack she described in extensive detail to a police detective — an account prosecutors have said is a detailed and elaborate lie.
"All I could think was this was all my fault," Norwood said on the recording, which was taped March 12 at Suburban Hospital after she was found bound and moaning amid a bloody crime scene inside Bethesda's Lululemon store.
Norwood told the detective she and Murray had returned to the store because Norwood left her wallet. Crying, Norwood told the detective the attack wouldn't have happened had she not forgotten it. The body of her co-worker, Murray, had been discovered in a storage area.
Norwood stands accused of first-degree murder in the case and her trial is ongoing at Montgomery County Circuit Court in Rockville. Prosecutors have said Norwood killed Murray and from inside the shop to injure her, including a knife, a hammer, a wrench and a mannequin peg. They say she staged the crime scene to make it appear as though the two women had been attacked and lied to police to cover up the crime.
Prosecutors say Murray sustained at least 322 injuries, the majority of which occurred while was still alive.
Norwood's defense is attempting to prove Norwood "lost it" and killed Murray during a fight, but the prosecution is arguing Norwood lured Murray back to the store using the wallet as a ruse and pre-meditated the attack.
The tape was played during the testimony of Montgomery County police detective Deana Mackie, who took the stand Thursday. Mackie interviewed Norwood March 12 at the hospital, shortly after the crime. During the course of the interview played in court, Norwood asked Mackie, "Can you tell me how my friend is doing?"
Norwood went into graphic detail of the attack, describing being sexually assaulted and beaten, and said that Murray had been attempting to fight back. On the tape, she sniffled and cried, and her voice broke frequently.
"Jayna was screaming and yelling, and I just couldn't do anything," Norwood said on the tape.
Later, she said, "There was so much blood."
Mackie testified that she was speaking to Norwood as a victim and attempting to elicit more information from her to help search for the two attackers she described and process the crime scene.
Also Thursday, Jo Beth Hager, a nurse who examined Norwood, took the stand. Hager said the injuries Norwood had didn't match the account she was describing.
Hager said that Norwood told her she had been lying on her back for hours, but the flow of blood from a wound on her forehead traveled directly down her face, not to the side.
"She said she was lying on her back for multiple hours waiting to die," Hager said.
Patch is reporting live from the courthouse. Stay tuned for updates.