Documents: Suspect In Yoga Store Slaying Severed Victim’s Spine

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — There are disturbing new details on the murder at a high-end athletic store in Bethesda.  Prosecutors laid out new information as they convinced a judge not to allow any bail for the woman accused of killing her co-worker and trying to make it look like they were both attacked and raped by strangers.

Andrea Fujii has more on what prosecutors say led up to the violent attack.

They say the victim discovered stolen items inside the suspect’s bag and confronted her, leading to a violent 20-minute struggle between the two of them and hundreds of lies by the suspect to cover it up.

Prosecutors call Brittany Norwood, 28, a cunning liar for making up a story that she and her co-worker Jayna Murray were beaten and raped by two men on March 12 inside the Lululemon store on Bethesda Avenue. 

Instead, prosecutors detailed in court and charging documents what they say really happened.  They accuse Norwood of violently attacking Murray, crushing her skull, severing her spine and hitting her over the head countless times.

Prosecutors say the motive behind the attack is that Murray confronted Norwood over items she believed were stolen from the store.

“The young woman, Jayna, did in fact call her store manager to report what she thought had been a theft.  That’s what’s stated in open court.  Beyond that, I’m not going to speculate,” said Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.

Prosecutors contend Norwood’s lies only began to unravel once they asked her how her blood was found inside the victim’s car.  Police say Norwood changed her story and said the suspects made her move the victim’s car in the middle of the night or they would kill her.  Detectives say Norwood even used a pair of men size 14 shoes kept in the store to fake an attacker’s footprints. 

When detectives asked Norwood if Murray started the fight, Norwood said yes but would not say more.

Jayna Murray’s parents told “Good Morning America” they’re thankful for the Montgomery County police detectives cracking the case.

“The main message that I would send is we believe very, very strongly in the U.S. justice system and we are going to let the justice system prevail,” they said.

Norwood’s next court hearing has been scheduled for April 15.


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