Jayna Murray's death was the result of a horrific argument with a coworker at the Bethesda yoga store where she worked — not a premeditated murder, the attorney for the woman on trial in Murray's killing said in court Wednesday.
Brittany Norwood "lost it" and "unfortunately and stupidly" killed Murray in March at the Lululemon Athletica where the pair worked, Douglas Wood, an attorney for Norwood, said in his opening statement.
Norwood is charged with first-degree murder. In his opening statement, Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy told jurors that Murray was bludgeoned to death by seven or eight weapons, including a hammer, a merchandise stand, knives, a merchandise peg, a wrench and a rope.
Norwood, McCarthy said, used the 10 hours between the killing and when the pair was found the next morning to try to cover up her crime. She used men's sneakers she found in the store to create bloody footprints, cleaned out the cash registers and told police the two women were attacked during a robbery.
But that doesn't amount to first-degree murder, which under Maryland law is a deliberate, willful and premeditated killing, Wood said.
He said Norwood and Murray had worked together that day without any conflicts and Norwood didn't bring any weapons with her when she called Murray back to the store after closing because she said she had left her wallet inside.
But during a "mutual affray," Wood said, "Jayna was killed by Brittany."
McCarthy described a horrific crime scene, showing the jury a photograph of Murray sprawled on the ground face down, the white floor turned red by blood.
Murray suffered 322 "distinct, separate, identifiable injuries," he said. McCarthy said she suffered more than 100 defensive wounds, meaning she suffered a prolonged attack and slow death.
"You don't have 107 defensive injuries if you're not alive," he said.