The Washington Post

Brittany Norwood sentencing set for Friday

Brittany Norwood (Courtesy of Montgomery County Police)

Then the families of Jayna Murray and Brittany Norwood will hear a Montgomery County Circuit Judge set Norwood’s sentence for the death of Murray.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers have told Judge Robert Greenberg that life in prison is appropriate. But defense lawyers have asked for a chance of parole while prosecutors say Norwood, 29, is beyond rehabilitation and should never be free.

The hearing set for 1:30 p.m. Friday will cap a brutal and bizarre murder case.

For more than a week, Norwood told police and her own family that she and Murray had been attacked by masked intruders who forced their way into the Bethesda Lululemon store, raped the women and killed Murray, 30. Her tale terrified a community that believed killers were on the loose.

But under the weight of mounting forensic evidence, Norwood’s story crumbled and she was charged with killing Murray in a prolonged attack that left Murray with more than 330 wounds from an assortment of items that Norwood had grabbed and used as weapons.

View Photo Gallery: The trial of Brittany Norwood.

At trial, prosecutors did not present a motive for the killing. Authorities had suggested before trial that Murray may have caught Norwood shoplifting when she looked in her purse during a routine anti-theft measure used by the store.

Norwood’s lawyers said the killing was the product of “an explosion” by a woman who was not in “her right state of mind.”

A jury convicted Norwood in November.

If Norwood is given life with a chance for parole, she would serve 25 years before having a parole review, her lawyers have said in their sentencing memo to the court.

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Mary Pat Flaherty works on investigative and long-range stories. Her work has won numerous national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.


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