5K walk/run honors Bethesda murder victim (web and audio story)

22 Sep

No insanity plea from defendant as trial date approaches

By Maria Hallas

Lululemon closed after the murder; the store reopened several months later

A 5K Walk/Run in Bethesda last Sunday honored 30-year-old Jayna Murray, who was murdered last March while working at the sports clothing store Lululemon.

Listen to an audio story about the Walk/Run

Authorities say co worker Brittany Norwood killed Murray. The trial begins in October.

  •  many paid tribute to the slain 30-year-old

“We had over 600 registrants, [and] 500 runners . . . I mean it was really amazing for a first year. It so far exceeded our expectations. It was heartwarming for the family as well,” said volunteer Nicole Crane.

Crane believes the event allowed the Bethesda community, rocked by the slaying, to show support for the victim.

In Bethesda, shown here, Murray's death was the first slaying in twenty years.

“There were some wet eyes obviously . . . I think overall it [the sentiment] was very positive . . . you want something positive to come out of a tragedy,” Crane said.

  • trial is fast approaching

During the same week as the marathon, developments occurred in the trial over Murray’s death.

Attorneys for Norwood apparently missed their deadline this week to plead her insanity (or lack of criminal intent), according to the court’s docket.

It is unclear what the defense strategy will be.

Prosecutors allege that Norwood pretended to be a victim after she killed Murray to cover up her guilt.

When police found both women at the store, Norwood was bound and allegedly told investigators that she had been sexually assaulted. No sexual assault had occurred say prosecutors.

The evening before, Murray allegedly found stolen store merchandise in Norwood’s purse after Murray’s manager instructed Murray search it.

Norwood allegedly called Murray later in the evening and asked Murray to return to the store because she left her wallet there.

Murray returned, and Norwood allegedly killed her.  Authorities say that Norwood allegedly smashed Murray’s skull and spinal cord.



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