Judge Allows Lululemon Slaying Victim’s Mother to Testify

Jury sees recorded police interview with Brittany Norwood

By Chris Gordon
|  Tuesday, Nov 1, 2011  |  Updated 7:26 PM EDT
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Jayna Murray's mother identified her daughter's car, phone and jacket in the Lululemon murder trial Tuesday. (Courtroom sketches courtesy of William Hennessy.)

Chris Gordon, William Hennessy

Jayna Murray's mother identified her daughter's car, phone and jacket in the Lululemon murder trial Tuesday. (Courtroom sketches courtesy of William Hennessy.)

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Motive Setback for Prosecution in Lululemon Slaying

A judge rules a coworker's phone conversation with Lululemon slaying victim Jayna Murray, which would establish motive in the case, is hearsay and not admissible.
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A judge ruled Tuesday that Lululemon slaying victim Jayna Murray’s mother could testify for the prosecution in the trial of Brittany Norwood.

Norwood’s lawyer objected to allowing Phyllis Murray to testify about her daughter, saying it would be extremely prejudicial. Judge Robert Greenberg said the testimony is relevant.

The victim's mother identified her daughter's car, BlackBerry and black jacket found at the scene of the homicide.

The defense also objected to the prosecution playing a 3-hour-long police interview with Norwood, but Greenberg allowed that, too, saying prosecutors have to show her thinking that the murder was premeditated and deliberate.

"Premeditation is some type of deliberation,” legal analyst Barry Helfand said. “It can be brief. When I say brief, I mean very, very, very brief. A second, and that's deliberation."

Montgomery County police Officer David McGill testified Tuesday about bloody footprints that were tracked through the Bethesda Row Lululemon Athletica store made by two pairs of sneakers: a woman’s size 7-and-a-half New Balance and a man’s size 14 Reebok. The footprints were not made at the same time McGill concluded. The New Balance footprints made first and followed by the Reeboks suggested overlapping bloody shoe impressions.

Prosecutors contend Norwood used shoes kept in the store for alterations to make the tracks to support her story that there had been two masked assailants the night of March 11.

McGill also demonstrated how Norwood could tie herself up with a white plastic zip tie, which he tightened with his teeth.

Lead Detective James Drewry said he interviewed Norwood March 14 thinking she was a victim.

Days later he followed up with a long recorded interview. Her story started falling apart, he said, and she became a suspect in his mind.

In that interview, Norwood told Drewry that the two assailants made her move Murray's car. Asked why she went back to the store after moving the car, Norwood said they told her they knew where she lived and she was scared for her life.

After that March 18 interview, Norwood was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

Prosecutors could rest their case Wednesday.

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