The Norwood Interview With Detectives Played In Court | Crime
Four witnesses were called to the stand by the Prosecutor on Tuesday, inluding a forensic specialist, an expert in shoe print identification, Detective James Drewry who was one of two lead detectives on the case and Phyllis Murray, Jayna Murray's mother. The afternoon session began promptly at 1:35 p.m. Tuesday in the the lululemon murder trial where Brittany Norwood faces 1st degree murder charges in the slaying of her co-worker, Jayna Murray in the Bethesda lululemon yoga store on March 11.
While on the stand, Det. Drewry confirmed that Brittany Norwood was not a suspect when he and Detective Ruvin first interviewed Norwood at her home in Northwest, DC on March 14. At this interview, Norwood gave her fictitious account of what happened the night of the murder, and attempted to give descriptions of the masked assailants. She gave detailed descriptions of the masked assailants whom she described as Caucasian, mid 20’s, medium build, wearing all black. The detectives proceeded to use an audio recorder to make sure they didn’t miss any clues regarding the suspects. Detective Drewry testified that during this interview Ms. Norwood told the detectives that the assailants “knew where she lived.” This recording was played in court.
Detective Drewry testified that they advised Brittany Norwood to report to the police station on Wednesday, March 16 to obtain fingerprints, photos and hair samples as well as to learn more information regarding the case.
At this point the Detectives knew Norwood had been in victim, Jayna Murray’s vehicle and that blood was found inside. She was still ruled a victim with pending doubts. This interview at the police station was also shown in court.
In the interview March 16, Norwood was seen and heard asking Detective Drewry if “There was any good news in the case yet.” Drewry replied, “We are working on it.”
Next, Detective Drewry testified that he asked Norwood's relationship with various co-workers including Jayna Murray. Norwood responded "Her boyfriend lives in Seattle, he is getting his MBA. Jayna was planning to move there in May or June and we bonded since I'm from Seattle. He then asked Norwood in the interview if she knew what type of car Jayna Murray had. Norwood responded “I don’t know, I saw it once.”
Again Detective Drewry testified he asked Norwood what happened the night of March 11. She repeated her account of what happened emphasizing two masked men wearing all black came in, assaulted both women and killed Jayna Murray. In concluding Norwood’s interview at the police station, Drewry testified that he asked Norwood how long the sexual assault that she said took place lasted. Norwood replied “Forever it seemed like.”
Detective Drewry then testifies that the brother and sister of Norwood called him to say Brittany Norwood has more to tell the Detectives concerning the case. They agreed to meet at police headquarters on Friday, March 18. At this point, it appeared that Norwood was now under suspicion.
Detective Drewry testified that Norwood withheld information because she felt “unsafe.” She was again asked to go through her account of what happened the night of the murder. This time Norwood said before she was sexually assaulted, the assailants told her to move Jayna Murray’s car. Norwood went on to say that she was told by the assailants to return within 10 minutes or she would be killed. On her way to move Jayna Murray’s car which she found by pressing the unlock button on Ms. Murray’s keys, Norwood said she saw a couple and a police officer but was “too scared” to say anything.
In the interview that was seen in court, Norwood said “I understand I didn’t tell you everything. I’m also unsafe.”
Drewry testified that he asked Norwood why she hadn’t kept on going once out of the store, that she could have told the policeman or the couple. Norwood replied “Yes, I could have but I was scared for my life.”
Detective Drewry asked for more detailed information and at this point Norwood’s story continued to change and began to fall apart. Drewry then testified, “ A few hours after the interview, I placed her under arrest.”
The State Prosecutor then called Jayna Murray’s mother, Phyllis to the stand. She identified her daughter’s blackberry phone, purse, jacket, and car. She confirmed Jayna was right handed and that she didn’t have an identical twin. Mrs. Murray also mentioned her youngest child, Jayna had a birthday later this month. She would be turning 31.
Earlier Tuesday, The State's Prosecutor called Officer David McGill, expert in shoe print identification in Montgomery County to the stand.
McGill testified that he and his colleague performed a "track and trail" investigation on March 17 to find shoe print impressions throughout the lululemon store in an attempt to find out if a series of events had taken place the night of the murder, March 11.
McGill found two separate impressions of shoes, a pair of Reeboks- size 14 and a pair of new balances- size 7.5.
This testimony was significant because through his examination of the store he found odd walking patterns in the office to show the person may have been using extreme caution while walking. He also found evidence to prove that two tracks were laid at different times on top of each other. This conclusion meant that the impression of the Reebok shoes were laid after the New Balance shoes in order to cover up footprints made by Norwood at an earlier time. This evidence indicated length and time of staging.
McGill then testified that he found teeth marks in the zip ties found on Brittany Norwood.
Judge Greenberg allowed Officer McGill to demonstrate to the jury how easy it would be for a layperson to tie oneself up with zip ties by using their teeth.
Defense attorney Douglas Wood has argued that Norwood did not plan the murder and that the defendant killed Murray after the two began an argument where Norwood “lost it."
The State Prosecutor will call his last witness, the medical examiner, to the stand Wednesday.