Witnesses for the prosecution took the stand Thursday in the first full day of testimony in the trial of Brittany Norwood, the Maryland woman accused of killing her coworker Jayna Murray at a Lululemon yoga store in March.
The first witness to take the stand was Colin O'Brien, a Montgomery County police officer who was working security at Suburban Hospital on March 12, according to NBC Washington. He testified that he met the ambulance that brought in Brittany Norwood after she was found tied up in the back of the store that morning. He also collected her clothing and put that in evidence bags for later DNA testing.
He described Norwood's wounds, including cuts to her legs, chest, arm and a gash on her forehead. Of particular interest was a one to two inch cut running parellel to her thumb, which he said caught his eye because it's a common injury when a knife slips through one's hand. The defense objected to that answer, and on cross-examination, O'Brien testified that he originally believed the wound was a defensive one.
O'Brien was also instructed to remove the clothing he collected in the evidence bag, which included bloody socks and a pair of yoga pants that had been ripped and cut in the crotch area. The prosecution attempted to use this as evidence of a cover-up, saying that the self-inflicted wounds and torn clothing were evidence of an attempt at a cover-up. The state's attorney is trying to show pre-meditation in support of their pursuit for a first-degree murder charge.
As defense attorney Douglas Wood said Wednesday in his opening statement, he does not dispute that Brittany Norwood was the one that killed coworker Jayna Murray. He claims that Norwood didn't plan to kill Murray, but "lost it" during a fight.
The court also heard testimony from a nurse at Suburban Hospital, who treated Norwood when she arrived there. She told the court that Norwood came in with blood on her face, but not in her hair. Norwood told investigators that she was bound overnight, with her head hanging down. The nurse testified that she would expect someone in that position to accumulate blood in her hair.
Detective Deana Mackie, who interviewed Norwood the day after the murder, also took the stand. Norwood told Mackie that she and Murray had been attacked by two men, and had tried to help Murray as they beat her to death, but couldn't. She then described how they tied her up and cut her with a knife, only to leave her there for hours.
The trial is expected to go into next week.
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