Erin Donaghue and Shaun Courtney, Bethesda Patch (Bethesda, Maryland), March 21, 2011
Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy argued for no bond in court, arguing that Norwood posed a threat to public safety. “The nature of the crime is shocking in the level of violence directed during the attack,” McCarthy said.
Murray’s injuries, McCarthy said, were “catastrophic.” The blows to her head were probably “too numerous to count,” McCarthy said, her skull was crushed, and there was a ligature wound around her neck.
Norwood at first portrayed herself to be a victim of an attack by two masked men, he said, but her story later unraveled. Norwood said both women had been attacked by two masked men and sexually assaulted, but there was no evidence to support that, police later said.
“Her cunning and her ability to lie is almost unparalleled,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy said that Murray suspected Norwood may have been stealing from the store, and called store management to report her suspicions. Murray found items Norwood may have stolen from the store in Norwood’s bag, McCarthy said.
During the phone call with management, which happened the day of the murder, Murray was told it would be dealt with the next day, McCarthy said.
After closing the store on March 11, Norwood called Murray to return to the store just after 10p.m. because Norwood said she had forgotten her wallet, and a confrontation ensued, McCarthy said. The attack, which may have lasted as long as 20 minutes, took place at numerous locations within the store, he said. Witnesses at the nearby Apple Store heard two women screaming, but didn’t hear any male voices, McCarthy said.
He said materials from inside the store itself were used as weapons. “The instruments used to take Jayna Murray’s life all came from within the store itself,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy said Norwood told “pathological lies by the hundreds” and that much of what police found at the crime scene was a product of what she had staged.
The rear of Murray’s pants had been cut to make it appear as though she was sexually assaulted, McCarthy said.
Later, Norwood tied herself up using her teeth, he said. McCarthy said police found a box of the pull ties she used to tie herself inside the store. Norwood’s injuries were consistent with self-inflicted wounds, McCarthy said. Charging documents described them as “superficial scratches and parallel.”
The crime scene, he said, was “awash as much as any crime scene I’ve ever been at with the blood of this victim.”
Norwood is charged with first degree murder and faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.