A mother’s strength: Jayna Murray’s mom takes the stand

Would she raise her right hand?

She would.


(Victim Jayna Murray's mother, Phyllis /AP)

Where does she live, prosecutor John McCarthy asked.

“Montgomery, Texas,” Murray said, calmly.

For how long?

“Jeepers,” she said, “about 30 years on and off.”

Her family chuckled a bit — jeepers.

She identified her husband David, sitting in the second row with their two sons and their wives. When McCarthy asked how old son Hugh was, Murray paused a moment, trying to recall. “I don’t mean this as a test,” McCarthy said. Murray laughed softly.

McCarthy asked about Jayna. Was she athletic? Tap, ballet, jazz, volleyball, even the discus. McCarthy displayed pictures of Jayna, a flower stuck in her hair. Murray did not cry. She did not wince. In the second row, her daughter-in-law wiped her eyes. Was this a picture of her car? Was this her cell phone? Calmly, firmly, Murray answered.

“Yes that is her car.”

“Yes that is her phone.”

Her daughter suffered 300-plus wounds inside the Lululemon store back in March, more than 100 defensive. She suffered. The injuries to her skull were traumatic. There were pools of blood. The suspect in the case — Brittany Norwood — lied for days about what really happened.

And now, after no more than 10 minutes on the stand, the prosecutor said he had no more questions. The defense team had no questions for her. Jury members had their eyes locked on her. Murray strode back to her family, sat down and clutched her husband’s hand. Her eyes were red. She had spoken for her daughter.

Michael Rosenwald is a reporter on the Post's local enterprise team. He writes about the intersection of technology, business and culture.

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