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UPDATE: Norwood Found Guilty of First-Degree Murder

The jury deliberated for about an hour before reaching a verdict.

Update 7:10 p.m.: Brittany Norwood, who was charged with Jayna Murray at the Bethesda Lululemon store, was found guilty of first-degree murder Wednesday evening.

The jury began deliberating at 5:46 p.m. and wrapped up deliberations around 6:51 p.m. They were instructed to consider both first-degree and second-degree murder verdicts.

There was a sigh from the Murray family and an audible "yes" after the jury read their verdict.

Juror Donny Knepper said that just as jurors began their deliberations, one informally polled the group to gauge who was leaning towards a first-degree murder verdict. Everyone raised their hands, Knepper said.

"What swayed everyone over was the number of ferocious wounds to the head and face Knepper said.

Following the verdict, the Murray family, prosecutors and Norwood's defense attorney Douglas Wood addressed the media.

The Murray family thanked prosecutors, the jury, police and the media. "My sister fought for what was right," said Hugh Murray, Jayna Murray's brother. "And that helped us through this trial, making sure what was right was done."

David Murray, Jayna Murray's dad, said he felt "total relief" as the verdict was read.

Hugh Murray was also asked his thoughts as the jury read the verdict.

"I actually wish I had never had to hear any of these words," Murray said with tears in his eyes. "But to hear we got a first-degree murder verdict -- that was very pleasing."

Norwood's lawyer, addressing the media after the trial, said that he "never personally believed (shoplifting) as a motive to kill."

Wood said he would hope for a sentence of life with parole, because it "gives someone hope" they will eventually get out of jail.

McCarthy also thanked the lead detectives on the case, emphasizing the short time span between when Norwood was discovered as a "victim" at Lululemon March 12, to her arrest March 18.

"You just don't do it any better than those two men did it in this case," McCarthy said.

He also praised the Murray family as "extraordinary" people. "It's been a great privilege representing them and making sure the person ultimately responsible for this crime was brought to justice," he said.

McCarthy said he plans to pursue a sentence of life without parole. A sentencing date is set for Jan. 27.

This story has been updated.

Original Story, Nov. 2: A jury of twelve -- six men and six women -- has entered deliberations in the Lululemon trial.

Both the defense and the prosecution gave their closing arguments to the jury Wednesday evening. The defense argued that Norwood "lost it" and  at Bethesda's Lululemon store March 11 during a fight, while the prosecution sought to prove Norwood lured Murray back to the shop that evening and premeditated the attack.

Prosecutors said Norwood lied to police and elaborately staged the crime scene to make it appear as though an attack had taken place.

The jury will consider both first- and second-degree murder charges. Five alternate jurors were dismissed and will not participate in deliberations, though they were asked not to discuss the case until a verdict is returned.

The jurors entered deliberations shortly before 6p.m., after which judge Robert Greenberg cleared the courtroom.

It's not clear how long the jury will take to deliberate, or how long the they may decide to stay at the courthouse if the deliberations are not concluded Wednesday evening.

Patch is reporting live from the courthouse. Stay tuned for updates.


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