Reporting Derek Valcourt
BETHESDA, Md. (WJZ)—Family members of the woman convicted of murdering her co-worker at a Lululemon clothing store in Bethesda last year are begging a judge to allow her the possibility of parole.
Derek Valcourt has more on the written pleas for mercy.
Prosecutors argue the defendant should never be allowed to walk free again. But the killer’s family says she deserves a second chance with parole.
WJZ obtained the passionate letters to Judge Robert Greenburg–letters written by friends and family of Brittany Norwood. The 29-year-old was convicted in March of murdering her co-worker, 30-year-old Jayna Murray, inside the upscale Lululemon clothing shop in Bethesda where the two worked.
Police say Norwood attacked Murray when Murray confronted her about stealing merchandise. Norwood initially created an elaborate lie to cover up the crime, saying she and Murray were attacked by two men.
But evidence showed Murray endured 331 stabbing, cutting, beating and choking wounds before she died. It took a jury just one hour to find her guilty of first-degree murder, bringing justice for Murray’s family.
“I know the trauma our family has been through. I want no other family to go through this,” said Phyllis Murray, victim’s mother.
The victim’s family and the prosecutors say Norwood is beyond rehabilitation and should spend the rest of her life locked up.
But in the letters, Norwood’s many family members ask the judge to show mercy by sentencing her to life with parole.
Her father Earl Norwood wrote to the judge saying, “I know Brittany is a good person and will do everything in her power to make amends for what has happened if given a chance. I love my daughter more than words can say, and I know she is worthy of a chance.”
If the judge does allow the possibility of parole, under Maryland law Norwood would have to serve at least 25 years in prison before she would be eligible.
Sentencing for Norwood is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday in Rockville.