Yoga Store Employee Gets What She Deserves for Brutal Murder of Coworker

Brittany Norwood
Brittany Norwood
If you've ever been in a Lululemon store, you know that it inspires you to get healthier just being in there. "What's your sweat of choice?" the taut and toned salespeople chirp as you enter. That lovely zen place, however, was rocked by violence in March when employee Brittany Norwood, 29, brutally murdered her coworker, Jayna Murray, 30, in the company's Bethesda, Maryland store.

Originally the crime was reported as a random act of violence. Norwood had told police that after closing the store, she and Murray went back to get something when some robbers followed them back into the store and beat and raped the women. When employees went to open the store the next morning, they found a horrifying, blood-covered scene, including Murray's dead body and Norwood tied up in the bathroom. The reality, though, was even more chilling.

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After her lies didn't add up, police discovered it was Norwood who, perhaps because she was trying to cover up her own shoplifting that Murray knew about, lured her back to the store under the guise that she had left her wallet there, then bludgeoned Murray to death. According to The Washington Post, the state proved it was premeditated, partially because of the relentless attack and the number of weapons she used, including a hammer, a knife, a wrench, a rope, and a metal peg. Attorney John McCarthy said the attack likely lasted over 16 minutes with a wound being inflicted every three seconds.

“There were dozens of opportunities, multiple times, that she could have stopped this,” he said in the closing argument. Tragically, she didn't, and now Murray's family is left to mourn their gorgeous, vibrant daughter who should have her whole life ahead of her, but doesn't.

Norwood's attorney's best defense was that Murray's murder was “the product of someone who lost it.” Definitely not good enough.

One of my best friends owns a store in the same area this occurred -- Bethesda Row -- and the fear this crime struck in the community was unbelievable, especially in the days before the truth came out. Store owners spent countless dollars increasing security measures and closing stores early, and countless hours worrying about these violent killers on the loose. The fact that it turned out to be one individual with a motive certainly alleviated some of those fears, but it's no less terrifying to know that there are monsters like that out there, perhaps where we least expect them.

Last night, Norwood's six-day trial concluded, and in less than an hour, the jury reached the verdict -- guilty of first-degree murder. Thankfully, justice was served, and she didn't get off with anything less than she deserved. Her sentencing will be January 27, and she faces the possibility of life in prison without parole. I can't think of anyone better to rot in jail.

Have you followed this case? Are you glad to see the first-degree murder conviction handed down?


Image via Washington Times

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