“Cold-blooded . . . brutal . . . calculated . . . deliberate . . . devious . . . malicious,” was how the judge described Norwood and the murder she committed in the Lululemon Athletica store. The sentence brought a burst of applause from a courtroom packed with more than 200 people, including relatives of Norwood and Murray.
“Please!” the judge scolded, silencing the crowd.
Norwood, speaking publicly for the first time since the killing, briefly addressed Murray’s family before learning her punishment. “Before I go to prison,” she said, “I needed you to hear how deeply sorry I am.”
In an after-hours confrontation apparently sparked by Norwood’s attempt to steal a pair of yoga pants, authorities said, she bludgeoned, choked and stabbed Murray, using at least five weapons to inflict more than 330 separate wounds. Then she gave herself a few minor wounds, bound her own hands and ankles in a restroom, and initially fooled detectives with an elaborate tale about a pair of masked intruders.
Until the coverup unraveled a few days later, police considered Norwood a victim of two killers on the loose, and fear reigned on the upscale streets of Bethesda Row.
“You’re one hell of a liar, ma’am,” Greenberg said Friday, in a tone of contempt.
Norwood and her attorneys had sought of sentence of life with a chance of parole. “I don’t even ask this for myself,” Norwood said as she dabbed tears with a tissue. “I truly ask this for my family, especially my mom and dad.” But the judge was unmoved.
“I have no doubt, Ms. Norwood, that you are a deeply troubled woman,” Greenburg told her. However, “my sympathy for your plight, ma’am, does not begin — does not begin — to approach what I feel for the Murray family.”
With or without parole, he said: “You will live. You will see another sunrise, another sunset. It may be through a prison window. There’ll be Christmases, there’ll be telephone calls, there’ll be visits. The only visits Jayna Murray will have are those to her grave.”
In arguing that the prolonged brutality of the killing and the seemingly remorseless coverup attempt made life without parole a fitting punishment for Norwood, State’s Attorney John McCarthy summoned eight of Murray’s relatives and friends to a lectern, where each sadly addressed the judge.
Murray, 30, a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University, was bright, loving, compassionate, intelligent, adventurous and devoted to her family, they said.
“Of the many stages of grief, I have not moved away from rage,” her father, David Murray, told Greenberg. He recalled leading soldiers in combat as an Army officer and seeing changes in their psyches as they grew accustomed to fighting. “Once bloodied, the second time is easier and probably more likely,” he said of killing. And that would be true of Norwood, he said, if she were someday let out of prison.