Home » Brittany Norwood: The Woman Behind The Jayna Murray Murder

Brittany Norwood: The Woman Behind The Jayna Murray Murder

by YourDailyHunt.com
Brittany Norwood

Jayna Murray was only 30-years-old when she was murdered over stealing gone wrong on March 11, 2011, at the Lululemon store, where she worked in Washington DC in the Maryland suburb of Bethesda. She was a young woman studying for two master’s degrees at Johns Hopkins University. Jayna Murray’s friend said she was a thrill-seeker who loved bungee jumping, but she also loved yoga which balanced out her adventurous side. This is, unfortunately, the story of how she got killed by Brittany Norwood, her co-worker. 

Brittany Norwood Murder Story Explained: 8 Facts! 

The night of Wednesday, March 11, 2011, would go down as the night Jayna Murray would work her last ever shift with her colleague Brittany Norwood. 

They were working until the last shift would end at 9.45 pm and the victim Jayna had the keys with which she was supposed to close the store.

On the morning of March 12, 2011, manager Rachel Oertli arrived at the Lululemon store around 8 am to start settling in for the day ahead. To her surprise when she entered the store, the door was unlocked and the lights were on. She was upset that the employees who worked the closing shift forgot to lock properly.

After entering the store, she noticed that the store was in disarray. When she called to see if there was anyone in the store, she heard low moans, so before even checking in, she ran outside frantically and called 911.

As she called 911, she noticed an Apple Store employee watching her. His name was Ryan. Neither of them knew each other but she asked him to come into the store with him and he agreed.

Ryan walked to the back of the store and saw a body lying on its stomach and saw another person tied up but still alive. 

The police reached the scene and made their way to the back of the store where they found Jayna’s body and found Brittany alive in the bathroom. Brittany had cuts on her body and her pant zip was torn and her hands were tied above her head with a zipped tie.

Brittany was taken to hospital where they discovered she had cuts on her legs, arms, chest, forehead, and a one-inch laceration on her right-hand parallel to her thumb.

1. At first, the investigation looked like murder and theft: 

When the police searched the store, they found two bloody footprints. One of the footprints was from size 14 sneakers that were found in the store.

Police also examined the store’s safes and found them to be empty. From this, they concluded that there was also a theft.

2. Brittany Norwood’s initial story of what happened: 

Police spoke to Brittany at the hospital on March 12. As a store worker, she stitched the story that she and co-worker Jayna were working the last shift of the night. 

This meant that they closed the store, then went their separate ways after Jayna locked up with her keys. 

Brittany realized she forgot her wallet after arriving at her car so she called Jayna and asked her to meet her at the front of the store. According to Brittany, when she and Jayna got there, two men with ski masks ran behind them into the store, took them inside and tied them up. The story then takes a dark turn when the two attackers sexually assault them both. 

According to Brittany, Jayna resisted which led to them beating and stabbing her to death. Brittany told police she was raped and the men used a hanger to assault her.

Two days later, police spoke to Brittany again when she was home and she told police that the reason the man who attacked her hadn’t killed her was because she was “easy to fuck”, according to one of the men who told her this. She told police that the men pushed her over Jayna’s body. They mistreated her and called her “dirty little bitch” and used racist slurs.

On March 16, police called Brittany to come to the station as they needed samples of her hair and fingerprints so they could remove her from the crime scene. The officers took her in for questioning and asked her if she knew what Jayna’s car looked like, but she told police she didn’t.

3. The story changes with many inconsistencies: 

The next day, Brittany’s brother Chris and sister Marissa rang the police station and told them they had some type of information which Brittany was too afraid to tell police earlier in the investigation.

Brittany’s siblings confessed to the police that the attackers had her move Jayna’s car to a parking lot before sexually assaulting her. 

After hearing this, the police decided to set up a meeting with Brittany to listen to her accounts of this completely different situation. 

Brittany Norwood met the police and told them that she was forced to move Jayna’s car. She told them that she had gone alone to move the car but the men said they knew where she lived and if she tried to run away or call for help, the rapists would kill her whole family. Brittany Norwood claimed that she was afraid and did what was asked of her.

The police arrested her during this explanation and told her that they did not believe her because the evidence they had from that night did not corroborate her story. The story also didn’t make sense with the statement she made on the night of the murders.

4. Did Brittany Norwood cut herself and stage the murder of Jayna Murray?

The officers now believed that Brittany had organized the robbery and cut herself causing injuries to cover up the fact that she had brutally murdered her colleague Jayna.

When the police started investigating Brittany while trying to find evidence to prove the theory that they had staged it all. Officials found out that Brittany had a bad habit of stealing from everyone – stealing from high school teammates and even hairdressers! It goes without saying that she stole from Lululemon.

5. Her stealing habits were to blame:

Lululemon officials were well aware of Brittany’s theft tendencies and they were trying to fire her, but the process of firing an employee was difficult, especially without airtight evidence. The only way to fire her was to catch her in the act. Sadly, Jayna caught Brittany stealing a pair of leggings and threatened to tell the rest of management. 

In a move to not get fired, Brittany decided to kill Jayna instead. The police concluded that was the motive. Jayna was murdered for a pair of leggings.

They arrested Brittany for first degree murder.

6. Pieces of evidences that broke the case:

Evidence presented at trial concluded that: 

  • The trail of blood in the store indicated that Jayna was trying to drag herself to the back door to escape her attacker.
  • Jayna’s car was found parked a few blocks from the store, containing both Jayna’s blood and Brittany’s DNA. 
  • The store also has just TWO sets of footprints. One belonging to Brittany’s and the other footprints were from size 14 shoes kept in the store for customers to try on with the clothes. Prosecutors believed Brittany used the size 14 shoes to stage the crime scene. 
  • There was no theft as Brittany took the money out of the safe by herself to organize the theft, so it appeared that she and Jayna were both victims of the attack.
  • According to prosecution evidence, Jayna and Brittany left the store and returned fifteen minutes later. However, after leaving the store for the first time, Brittany called other colleagues to ask for Jayna’s number.
  • When the two returned to the store, that’s when Brittany brutally murdered Jayna. 
  • Lawyers found that all of Brittany’s injuries were superficial which means not deep, her body showed no evidence of sexual assault, but Jayna’s injuries were extremely brutal. 
  • The prosecution said the evidence showed Brittany cracked Jayna overhead with a one-foot metal bar that was part of the cargo rack. After beating Jayna once, Brittany chased her around the store and beat her with the metal bar several times until she fell.
  • During her attack, Brittany used the following weapons: a knife, wrench and hammer. She also tried to strangle Jayna with a rope. The victim Jayna’s hair and blood were found on a rope inside the store which means she was strangled. 
  • The prosecution believes Jayna was assaulted for twenty minutes and most of her injuries were inflicted during her lifetime.

7. A security team could have prevented the crime:

The Apple Store was literally attached to the Lululemon store walls and, according to lawsuits, Apple Store employees said they heard noises shortly after 10 p.m. that fateful night. 

Employees claimed to have heard moans and screams coming from the walls. 

The sounds were so abhorrent that one of the Apple Store employees reportedly complained to security about it. 

She said she heard voices saying, “Talk to me. Do not do that. Talk to me. What’s going on? ”This was followed by screaming and pleading for help, then a loud scream saying, “ God help me. Help me, please. ”

The Apple employee who complained to security left work shortly after 11 p.m. that evening.

8. Jayna’s whole body was autopsied and it looked like the worst accident:

The medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Jayna, named Mary Ripple, told the court that there were 331 wounds on Jayna’s body. Mary told the court it was the most injuries she had ever seen on anyone’s body.

105 of the wounds were defensive wounds because the victim used her arms and legs to defend herself. 

Mary confirmed to the court that Jayna was alive for most of them, saying the victim had six blunt wounds to her head and another blunt wound that crushed her skull. The injuries to her skull caused bruises to the inner part of her brain. Such injuries could only be inflicted by tremendous force. 

In what was said to be found in victims of a fatal car accident, Jayna’s skull was broken by fracture and her spine was severed by a knife wound that went through her neck, which stabbed her brain – this caused her death. 

She also had stab wounds to the shoulder, one to the lower back and two to the back of the head. She also had ligature marks on her neck that suggested she had been strangled.

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