Timeline: Lululemon Murder Investigation and Trial

From the homicide on March 11 to the murder conviction of Brittany Norwood, Patch walks you through how the story unfolded.

It was on March 12, 2011 when Patch first reported that the body of Jayna Murray had been found in the yoga and athletic wear shop on Bethesda Row. Murray, 30, was an employee at the high-end clothing boutique.

Police initially investigated the story told to them by another female store employee they described as the surviving victim -- that she and Murray had been brutally attacked by two masked men at the shop. The story shocked and terrified the community and prompted police to investigate hundreds of leads in the search for the assailants.

Seven months later, the woman initially thought to be that victim, Murray's co-worker Brittany Norwood, 29, was convicted of first-degree murder in her slaying.

Here's how the story unfolded:

March 12: Montgomery County Police are called to the scene of the Lululemon Athletica store around 8:12 a.m. where they find the body of Jayna Murray and her surviving co-worker Brittany Norwood, after what they thought was a robbery turned brutal attack and homicide.

. Kristie Donohue, manager of a boutique across the street from Lululemon, tells Patch: "This is an area I would never have expected this to happen. Period. I just think we’ve always felt so safe. It’s something we’ve taken for granted. Maybe this is an eye-opener that we have to be more aware.”

March 13—17: As , police continue to investigate her homicide and Norwood's apparent assault. The community plans to and a is set up in her name as for the popular urban district.

March 18: On the evening of Murray's vigil, police announce the arrest of Norwood, who they say was initially considered to be the surviving victim of an alleged attack at the shop. The victim-turned-suspect is charged with first-degree murder.

March 21: and recall how the evidence pointed towards her. They say Norwood elaborately staged the crime scene and lied to police to cover up the crime. They say Murray discovered Norwood attempting to steal from the shop the night of the crime, a possible motive. She is ordered to .

March 24—28: Patch reports that Norwood is She retains a private attorney.

April 14: Norwood's preliminary hearing is postponed.

May 5: A for the March 11 murder of Jayna Murray.

May 20: A .

June 24: Three months after the murder, . Murray's family visits the store and is thankful for the tribute to Jayna in the store's window. Patch for an interview.

Aug. 5: The Associated Press reports that  if convicted.

Aug. 17: The defense says they believe Norwood is mentally ill and tell a judge on her behalf.

Aug. 22—30: The , but the .

Sept. 2—3: The defense asks the judge to bar certain statements Norwood made to police from trial -- statements in which her story about an attack is becoming less and less plausible -- but the .

"This is a young woman that’s totally facile, totally with it, knew what she was doing," said Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Robert Greenberg, who is to preside over the trial.

Sept. 12: ABC7 reports that Norwood's lawyers .

Sept. 18: The Bethesda community gathers to honor Jayna Murray in a

Oct. 14: Norwood's defense team argues that as well as numerous other pieces of evidence compiled by the prosecution. Greenberg rules that the content of phone calls Murray made to co-workers just before she was killed -- during which she reports that Norwood may have been stealing -- could be considered hearsay.

Oct. 24: The Lululemon . until Oct. 26.

Oct. 26: Opening statements begin in the trial against Norwood, during which her defense team the night of March 11, apparently angling for a conviction on the lesser charge of second-degree murder. But the prosecution paints a different story, saying the crime was premeditated. They say Norwood lured Murray back to the shop and used up to eight instruments against her -- including a hammer, a wrench, a heavy metal merchandise peg, box cutters and a rope -- all from within the store. They say Murray sustained at least 322 injuries.

The , including the Lululemon Bethesda store manager, a Montgomery County police officer and corporal, an EMT, and a bystander who found Murray's body. are entered as evidence.

Oct. 27: Norwood's interview tape is played in court. On the tape, Norwood says, A and collected evidence from the shop testifies.

Oct. 28: to discuss their interactions with Murray and Norwood, and the night of the homicide.

The testimony of the Apple employees, who heard grunting, screaming, and cries for help but did not call 911,

Oct. 31: Judge Robert Greenberg rules the jury will testimony about March 11 phone conversations between Murray and another Lululemon employee. Prosecutors wanted to use the content of the call to establish motive. In the call the two allegedly discussed whether the employee sold Norwood a pair of Lululemon pants Murray discovered in Norwood's bag.

Dr. William Vosburgh, an expert in blood stain pattern analysis, also takes the stand, along with Det. Dimitry Ruvin, who describes the moment he Norwood's story.

"Either we are dealing with two crazy Columbine High School-type kids, or this is all not real," Ruvin told the jury, recounting his thoughts following a March 14 interview with Norwood.

Nov. 1: The jury watches a recorded at county police headquarters March 18. In it, Norwood describes how her alleged attackers forced her to move Murray's car. Norwood had initially denied being in the car, but forensic evidence linked her to the vehicle. The video comes during the testimony of James Drewry, one of the lead detectives on the case, who tells Norwood on the video that her story "doesn't make sense."

During the interview, Norwood grows increasingly defensive as her story crumbles.

Murray's mother, Phyllis, briefly takes the stand to identify pictures of her daughter, along with her Blackberry, jacket and car.

Nov. 2: The state's final witness, medical examiner Mary Ripple, is called to the stand. Ripple tells the jury she believes Murray sustained at least 331 injuries,

The state rests its case following Ripple's testimony, and the defense does not call witnesses. During the defense argues the killing and Norwood's half-baked cover story are the product of someone who is delusional. The state argues that Norwood had time to premeditate the killing because of how long it took to cause all of Murray's injuries and to change weapons.

"This crime took an enormous amount of time and there were dozens of opportunities, multiple times for her to stop this,” McCarthy says.

Shortly before 6 p.m., the jury enters deliberations. It takes them just over an hour to deliberate before they read their verdict -- Norwood is

"What swayed everyone over was the number of ferocious wounds to the head and face prior to the victim actually dying," juror Donny Knepper tells the media.

The evidence, he says, was "overwhelming."

The Murray family thanks prosecutors, police, the media, and the jury. “I know the trauma our family has been through and I want no other family to go through this," Murray's mother, Phyllis, tells the media. "I felt the brutality was indescribable. I want no other victim.”

Jan. 27, 2012: Brittany Norwood is In handing down his sentence, Judge Robert Greenberg angrily condemned Norwood, calling her "one hell of a liar."

“After every blow, you had a chance to think about what you were doing,” Greenberg said.

Just before learning her fate, Norwood stood in court and addressed the Murray family. “I hope for the Murray family, someday you’ll be able to find forgiveness in your heart,” she said. “I am truly sorry.”

Following the sentencing, David Murray called the apology "too little, too late."

Sonia Dasgupta (Editor) November 03, 2011 at 04:01 AM
We encourage healthy discussion, but not racism or foul language.
ABBY November 03, 2011 at 07:06 AM
Why didn't the Apple store employees call the police??????
Tieboranicus Aurealis November 03, 2011 at 01:27 PM
because the Apple store employees are idiots, and always got some kind of freaky music on so they can't really decipher any problems they hear. One hears some UNUSUAL commotion and someone screaming "OH GOD HELP ME"...the idiots should have CALLED the police or GO SEE what's going on....anything possible was happening.......
jodi November 03, 2011 at 01:49 PM
why is Norwood not eligible for the death penalty?
Jabu G. L. Woodard November 03, 2011 at 02:11 PM
She should have got the Death penalty or send her to the frontline in Afga. Life in prison is to good for her. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Murray family and friend. Stay strong and know that there is a God.
Jose S. Pratts November 03, 2011 at 09:51 PM
The employee's are not idiots, they could of been busy people speculate without having evidence........it was unfortunate but it did happen so people need to move on and get over it........just like the family will in time, matter of fact this happens everyday so why people are shocked? you read it in the papers on a daily basis and hear it on the radio as well so come on give it a rest an stop whinning.........
diane brown January 28, 2012 at 06:57 AM
I just don't get it. A criminal is worried about getting caught stealing but not worried about killing someone???
Joewe Farinella January 28, 2012 at 11:57 AM
idiots?? maybe,cowards probably.worst case scenario is they are sick and sadistic and got off on the 8 minutes of this savage cutting this poor woman up.even the judge found the employees behavior inexplicable.maybe they were just keepin it real...??????
Jessica Drake-Artz January 28, 2012 at 12:22 PM
She was stabbed etc. 331 times Do You know where she got the knife? and wouldn't that prove to be first degree if she had to go get the knife and come back to commit the crime? You know more than Me so just thought I would ask,Thanks
Catherine Lichoulas January 28, 2012 at 01:11 PM
I am glad the judge did what he did, and also addressed the blase attitude of the Apple Store employees. How horrid!
D January 28, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Not sure about the premeditated guidelines to qualify for death by lethal injection... As for me, I say 330 times of stabbing,beating, etc is enough of a guideline to send this woman back to her maker.
Debbie Calvello January 28, 2012 at 04:16 PM
death is too fast and easy, she needs to suffer in jail for the rest of her miserable life....i am sure she killed small animals when she was younger. only a heartless piece of shit could do this. bravo to the judge for this sentence.
Jennifer Harrison January 28, 2012 at 06:02 PM
This story is so horrific. Apple employee's are always way too hip and into there own little world to help anyone at anytime.
Jennifer Harrison January 28, 2012 at 06:17 PM
The Apple store should do Bethesda a favor and close down.
Lucy Willson January 28, 2012 at 06:48 PM
There should be a law to allow a family member to carry out the death penalty if they believe in punishment by death. I don't believe in committing murder for someone else's revenge. I wouldn't want the job to take another person's life. I don't believe Norwood can be rehabilitated; she is too evil.
Catherine Lichoulas January 28, 2012 at 08:15 PM
That is an interesting idea... so many emotions in that.
Mary Saunders February 24, 2012 at 01:47 PM
The video inside the Apple store clearly shows that the Apple employees are definitely not busy . They are just like so many other computer savvy humans (and I use the term loosely) self involved. Otherwise they could have roused the Apple store security guard out of his personal world of the IPod to go next door for a look-see. We are all idiots in an increasingly unhuman and idiotic computer world that spawns such evil. Pretty blonde killed by a jealous and envious insecure female...people it is a no brainier and we are truly idiots if we don't see the motive of this savage attack.
Dave Semko May 26, 2012 at 04:58 AM
So what about the footage of the 2 guys in black from the Apple surveillance outside camera? There are a few things that don't add up to me; 1.) She stated that the crime was done by 2 guys in black, and there is footage to verify that. 2.) She denied it all along until she gets to trial? what made her change her story. 3.) Why be so afraid of shoplifting but not so afraid of 1st degree murder? 4.) How elaborate of a plan is this for just 1 person, it seems that this is the type of crime committed by more than a single person. 5.) If the victim wasn't fatally hit until the 332nd hit, wouldn't it be reasonable to think she would have been able to escape at some point?
Dave Semko May 26, 2012 at 05:06 AM
and she stayed calm enough to lay there in a pool of blood until the morning? Either this is the most deranged person on the face of the Earth (and coincidentally had 2 guys in black at the same time of the murder), or something seems botched about this investigation. This initially was just a theory by the young lead detective that she perpetrated the crime all by herself. I just don't understand how everyone totally jumped on that bandwagon without answering some of these other questions.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something