Montgomery County prosecutors will use experts in DNA, blood-spatter and four other fields to testify against Brittany Norwood in the upcoming Lululemon Athletica murder trial, the county’s top prosecutor said in court Friday.
Norwood’s attorney, Douglas Wood, also left open the possibilty that he would seek a defense that his client was not criminally responsible because she suffered from mental illness.
“That’s something we’re still exploring,” Wood said after a pre-trial hearing in the case. “… It’s such an odd event.”
Norwood, 29, was led into the hearing by sheriff’s deputies while wearing a tan jumpsuit from the county jail. She said only two words aloud, responding to Montgomery Circuit Judge Robert Greenberg’s greeting. “Good morning,” she told him.
From there, the seven-minute hearing dealt mostly with scheduling matters. Wood and prosecutor John McCarthy confirmed to Greenberg they still expected the trial – set to begin on Oct. 24 – to last about eight days. Acknowledging the intense media and public interest in the case, Greenberg said the opening part of the trial might take place in the Montgomery Circuit Courthouse’s largest courtroom.
Norwood is accused of killing Murray inside the high-end yoga store after it closed. Norwood then launched an elaborate cover up, police said, altering the crime scene, tying herself up, and telling police after they found her that two masked men had attacked and sexually assaulted her and Murray.
Wood said his client is holding up inside jail. “I think she’s doing pretty well under the circumstances … She’s extremely intelligent,” Wood said.
In the hearing, McCarthy said he planned to seek testimony from experts in six fields: blood-spatter, shoe-print, fingerprint, DNA, rape and forensic medical examination. He said he is awaiting a report on DNA lifted from 30 items, presumably from inside the store or from inside the victim’s car.
McCarthy said his office had given Wood’s firm more than 1,100 pages of documents in the case as part of the pre-trial disclosure process.