The mother of the young woman who was killed by a coworker at the upscale Lululemon yoga boutique in Bethesda, Maryland was permitted to testify Tuesday. Phyllis Murray, the mother of Jayna Murray, testified briefly, identifying photos of her daughter as well as her jacket, blackberry and car.
The defense argued that letting Phyllis Murray testify would be prejudicial to the defense of Brittany Norwood, the accused, but Judge Robert Greenberg dismissed the objection. The prosecution also played a 3-hour-long police interview over the objections of the defense attorney. Greenberg overruled the second objection, according to NBC Washington, because he deemed it relevant to the question of whether Norwood's actions were premeditated.
Montgomery County Police Detective Jim Drewry interviewed Brittany Norwood several times in the days after her coworker Jayna Murray was found dead inside the Lululemon shop. He says he initially considered Norwood a victim, based on her account that two men had attacked her and Murray, but she became a suspect as her story unraveled.
The attorneys for the defense do not dispute that Norwood was the one who killed Murray in what a blood splatter analyst Monday described as "a substantial beating." The defense argues that Norwood "lost it" during a fight with Murray, and her actions were not premeditated, which would disqualify her from the first-degree murder charge being pursued by the prosecution.
The jury also heard from Montgomery County police officer David McGill, who testified that he observed two pairs of bloody footprints tracked through the Lululemon Athletica store -- one by a woman's size 7-and-a-half and another a man's size 14. The prosecution contends that Norwood used shoes kept in the store to make the prints to back up her story that she had been attacked by two armed assailants.
The prosecution is expected to rest their case Wednesday.
A slate of new legislation has received an endorsement by the Virginia State Crime Commission that they say would give law enforcement more tools to investigate and prosecute child abuse.