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Posted at 02:40 PM ET, 10/26/2011

Lululemon trial: Norwood “lost it” and killed co-worker, defense says


Brittany Norwood. (Courtesy of Montgomery County Police)
Brittany Norwood “lost it” and killed co-worker Jayna Murray during an “horrific fight” inside a Bethesda yoga store, Norwood’s defense attorney said Wednesday.

“Jayna was killed by Brittany. Not with premeditation. Not with deliberation. Not with willfulness or malice,” defense attorney Douglas Wood told jurors. “It occurred during a fight. . .and during that fight, ladies and gentlemen, Brittany Norwood lost it. There’s no doubt about that. She lost it. She lost control.”

Wood’s comments came on the first day of Norwood’s murder trial in Montgomery County Circuit Court.

Prosecutors said that on the night of March 11, Norwood murdered Murray, 30, inside the Lululemon Athletica store in downtown Bethesda, then staged an elaborate cover-up.

The trial is expected to last about eight days. The Post’s Maggie Fazeli Fard is tweeting from the courthouse:

Murray was found in the store, stabbed, beaten and left with a ligature around her neck, police said. Her skull was crushed and her spinal cord severed.

Police officers found Norwood in a store bathroom, tied up, with blood on her face. She told police two masked men had slipped inside the store, and attacked and sexually assaulted her and Murray.

Police initially considered Norwood a victim. But as they examined the forensic evidence, they said, her story began to fall apart.

“One problem,” State’s Attorney John McCarthy told jurors on Wednesday, “the concocted boogeyman did not exist.”

McCarthy said that Murray had 107 defensive wounds from a wrench, rope, box cutters and a knife, and that the store “was awash in blood.”

In a pretrial hearing Tuesday, McCarthy said prosecutors believe Norwood attacked Murray with an “array of weapons.”

“We would estimate that somewhere between six to eight different types of weapons were used against Miss Murray,” McCarthy said.

For more crime stories from PostLocal, read Crime Scene.

By and  |  02:40 PM ET, 10/26/2011

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