The Washington Post

Norwood trial video shows Apple employee reaction

On March 11, the night Jayna Murray was killed, employees at the adjacent Apple Store heard screams and crying. During the murder trial of Brittany Norwood, prosecutors played Apple Store surveillance video to establish a time-line for the murder. This video shows two store managers – Jana Svrzo and Ricardo Rios – approaching the east wall of their store to investigate the sounds.

Svrzo and Rios both testified at Norwood’s trial. Svrzo said she heard grunts, thuds and hysterical screams “God help me,” Svrzo recalled one voice saying. “Please help me.”

Rios testified that he heard a loud yell, and a female voice say something to the effect of “What’s going on? Why won’t you tell me?”

Then he heard a second, softer voice.

“All I heard was kind of like crying and muffled,” Rios said.

Neither he nor Svrzo called police.

Under cross examination from Norwood’s attorney, Doug Wood, Rios said he had indicated to an investigator that he didn’t think he was hearing violence.

“I think you told Detective Mackie you just thought it was some drama going on?” Wood asked.

“Correct,” Rios said.

Wood also pushed Svrzo, suggesting the fact that she didn’t go check to the yoga store was an indication she didn’t hear anything that needed checking out.

“If someone had yelled out ‘Help!’ you would have gone to help, right?”

“It’s hard to say what I would have done,” Svrzo said.

Here is surveillance video taken at the Apple Store that night that was released by the Montgomery County Circuit Court:

Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County. He arrived at the paper in 2005, after reporting stops at the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun and Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is the author of The Yoga Store Murder.

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