Bethesda Murder Suspect's Account Contradicted by Evidence

By Tim Persinko and Derrick Ward
|  Sunday, Mar 20, 2011  |  Updated 10:27 AM EDT
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News4's <a title=Darcy Spencer has the latest in the murder investigation at Lululemon in Bethesda, MD" />

NBCWashington.com - Darcy Spencer

News4's Darcy Spencer has the latest in the murder investigation at Lululemon in Bethesda, MD

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Key points of Brittany Norwood's statements did not match up with evidence at the crime scene in Bethesda, police sources said.

In the course of one week, Norwood's contradictory accounts of last Friday evening led investigators to stop viewing her as a survivor of the attack at Lululemon that left 30-year-old Jayna Murray dead, but as the suspect.

Last Saturday morning, when authorities found Norwood and her murdered coworker inside the yoga clothing store, Norwood told investigators that both she and Murray had been sexually assaulted.  She said that the attackers had been two masked men, who she said murdered Murray and tied her up in the back of the store.

However, according to police sources, after a hospital examination, Norwood exhibited no evidence of a sexual assault.  Sources said that Norwood had wounds across her midsection, but they were superficial, and in a parallel pattern, which they believe were self-inflicted.

Norwood's feet and hands were bound with zip ties, the source said, which authorities think she put on herself.

On the scene, two sets of footprints were found by police.  One set was traced to Norwood's own shoes, and the other set was linked to a pair of shoes that the store used to help customers size pants.

Initially, Norwood told police that she had never been in Murray's car.  But after traces of her DNA was found in the vehicle, Norwood changed her story, police sources said.  In her revised testimony, she told investigators that the masked men made her go outside of the store by herself and move the car.  After moving the vehicle three blocks away, she said she returned back into the Lululemon store.

In her final interview with police, sources said, investigators asked Norwood whether she had been in a fight with Murray that evening.  Witnesses had reported hearing an argument between two women coming from the store.

According to sources, Norwood said yes, and she was arrested shortly after.

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