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Woman To Appear In Court On First-Degree Murder Charge In Bethesda Homicide

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Brittany Norwood was arrested Friday for the murder of her coworker, Jayna Murray.
Montgomery County Police Department
Brittany Norwood was arrested Friday for the murder of her coworker, Jayna Murray.

State's Attorney John McCarthy spoke in court for nearly 15 minutes, laying out the case against Norwood in an effort to deny her bail.

McCarthy detailed the assault, showing photos from what he called the "gruesome murder scene" to the judge. He pointed out wounds and blows to the head he says were too numorous to count.

McCarthy says the motive may have been a fight between the pair of co-workers over merchandise Murray found in Norwood's bag earlier in the evening -- items Murray believed were stolen.

"As was stated in open court, the young Jayna did in fact call her store manager to report what she thought had been a theft," he says.

In the end, Judge Gary Everngam denied bail for Norwood and set a preliminary hearing date for April 15.

Norwood, 28, told Montgomery County Police she and Murray were sexually assaulted and beaten on March 11 by two masked men inside the Lululemon Athletica shop.

Investigators, however, were suspicious of her story, saying her accounts of that night were inconsistent and didn't line up with forensic evidence found at the scene, leading them to conclude Norwood was the attacker.

Investigators also found blood in Murray's car which was parked about three blocks away in a public parking lot on March 15. Norwood told police that before she was sexually assaulted, the masked men forced her to move Murray's car which was parked outside the store. Norwood told police she saw people outside while moving the car but didn't ask for help.

CORRECTION: This story originally stated that Norwood was 27 years old. She is 28.

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